EC Chairperson Byabakama Simon Mugenyi (L) hands over file containing particulars of the land at Plot 55 Jinja Road, to Eng. Lawrence Pario, the Contracts Manager, Kampala Flyover Project, and Head of Structures and Bridges, UNRA
The Electoral Commission Tuesday morning officially handed over the former EC Headquarters located on Plot 55, Jinja Road, Kampala to Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), who are now the new owners of this property.
Plot 55 Jinja Road which measures 1.093 hectares was formerly the main offices of the Government 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.
Speaking at the hand over event, Justice Byabakama Simon Mugenyi, the Chairperson, Electoral Commission, 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.
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, these plans were 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).
“I wish to appreciate the leadership and staff of the Commission who have shown resilience over the past 27 years and managed to serve and successfully deliver five general elections (2001; 2006; 2011; 2016; 2021) and two referenda (2000 and 2005) as well as several Parliamentary and Local Government Councils by-elections during this period, using these improvised premises as the head office,” Byabakama said, assuring the nation and all stakeholders that the process to acquire a new home for the Commission remains on good course.
In 2022, he said, Government of Uganda tasked National Housing and Construction Corporation (NHCC) to provide the Commission with temporary office premises and undertake necessary processes to design, construct, install, furnish, and complete a customized permanent home for the Electoral Commission.
Accordingly, on 16th December 2022, the Commission embarked on the process of relocating our offices, personnel and equipment from this location to the new temporary office premises on Plot 1-3/5, Seventh Street, Industrial Area, formerly the headquarters of National Housing and Construction Company (NHCC) Ltd.
“This relocation phase has now been completed and the Commission is settled in and offering services to the general public. The Commission and other relevant Government agencies are progressing with the plans to develop designs for the permanent home for the institution. The state-of-the-art home will give the Commission suitable facilities and a conducive working environment. The said custom-built home will also go a long way in improving service delivery by ensuring that all necessary facilities and services are located in one center. This will enhance service delivery but also help the Commission save on the money spent on renting facilities like warehouses and other related amenities,” he said.
With the finalization of the relocation process and the handover of Plot 55 Jinja Road to UNRA paves way for the road infrastructure developments and any other activities that UNRA may wish to carry out.
“It is not easy to leave a place you have known as home for many decades, so many memories that cannot be easily washed away, but we have to accept change especially if it’s for the better,” he said.