In the run up to the January 2021 presidential and parliamentary elections, the electoral commission hired a team of lawyers in preparation for any eventual court election petitions against the commission.
Whereas the biggest suit of them all, NUP president Kyagulanyi Sentamu Robert‘s presidential election petition in the supreme court was cancelled before it even started. The electoral commission dished out a whopping 3.7 Billion shillings as payment for legal services.
The legal cash bonanza stood out and featured in the latest auditor General’s report.
AG John Muwanga’s report reads in part;
The Commission contracted two law firms for provision of legal services for Presidential petition at a cost of UGX.3,748,550,000 which had been budgeted at UGX.800Million resulting into payment of UGX.2,948,550,000 over and above the budget.
Muwanga further points out the irregular way this payment was treated as an emergency.
Even though the planning for the elections started 3 years back, the procurement was treated as an emergency and there was no basis for the fees charged or detail of how the Commission came up with the market price for the service.
There were a total of 155 election petitions stemming out of the January 2021 polls. 104 of these were parliamentary election petitions whereas 49 were from the local government elections.