The Electoral Commission has finally handed over its former Jinja road premises to the Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA to paveway for the implementation of the Kampala Flyover project and road upgrade in the area.
During the handover Tuesday morning, the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama, said that the premises, which sit on 1.093 hectares of land are valued at Shillings 23 billion.
EC was expected to vacate the Jinja Road premises by June 2021 in vain.
Justice Byabakama said Plot 55 Jinja Road was formerly the main offices of Govt Central Purchasing Corporation (GCPC) until 1996 when it became the home of the Interim Electoral Commission(IEC).
This was after the successful conduct of the 1996 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. The IEC was formerly located at Ruth Towers on Plot 15A, Clement Hill Road, Nakasero, he said.
“It was clear to the IEC from the beginning, that the then new home required extensive remodelling and construction works to make it suitable for a national election management body,” he said.
Accordingly, the IEC and the successor (permanent) Electoral Commission, commenced with plans to convert the structures into modern offices. and plans were made to build a permanent structure.
However, he said, these plans have not achieved because the Ministry of Works and Transport advised that the land would be affected by the development of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the Kampala Flyover Construction and Road Upgrading Project (KFCRUP).
The Commission has since relocated to Seventh Street Industrial Area at the former headquarters of the National Housing and Construction Company. Justice Byabakama said that they have shifted at an appropriate time for efficient service delivery to Ugandans.
Lawrence Pario, an Engineer from UNRA said that the authority needs an additional US$ 200 million because of the change in the design of the standard Gauge Railway, which forced them to change the road design.
The engineer also said that the Kampala flyover lot II is going to have bus transit routes, improve the efficiency of traffic flow and all the roads will be signalized for quick traffic flow. The Electoral Commission has lived on the affected premises for over 27 years and has conducted five general elections from 2001 to the recent one of 2021.