By Misairi Thembo Kahungu
The Electoral Commission (EC) has identified a company to supply biometric machines for verification of voters before they cast their ballots, Daily Monitor has learnt.A display notice on the EC notice board indicates that Smartmatic International Holding B.V was the best evaluated bidder beating three other companies.The display note indicates that Smartmatic quoted Shs82.8b to supply the Biometric machines for the 2021 polls. In 2016, the same company was paid Shs66b to supply the equipment that was used in the general election.Sources close to the procurement process said Smartmatic was not only the lowest evaluated bidder but also its record on delivering credible data during elections in other countries was “unchallenged”.“First of all, the EC Procurement and Disposal Unit (PDU) and the Bids Evaluation Committee were convinced with the past record of Smartmatic. This company did a good job in 2016 and has promised to even do better this time,” a source said.Other companies that participated in the bidding are Genkey, Idemia and Technology Associates. These companies have up to September 23 to lodge a complaint in case they are not satisfied with the outcome of the bids evaluation process.Mr Robert Bookerwa, the EC head of PDU, yesterday declined to comment on the matter. He, however, confirmed that the information displaying the best evaluated bidder is authentic. He referred Daily Monitor to the EC acting spokesperson, Mr Paul Bukenya.Mr Bukenya said: “You are asking for information that requires me to engage with the relevant offices and no one is in office since it is a weekend.”Museveni promisesPresident Museveni, who the Opposition has accused of interfering with the EC procurement processes, early this month promised that the 2021 General Election would be held under strict measures to prevent vote rigging.He was commenting about the National Resistance Movement (NRM) primaries, in which the ruling party chose flagbearers, Woman MPs and directly elected MPs. The NRM elections on September 4 were characterised by violence, which led to death of at least six people and scores injured in several parts of the country.