Fourteen Parliamentary Seats Contested in Jinja High Court

2984 Views

In short
Majority of the petitions are based on indicators of voter bribery, ballot stuffing, declaration of wrong results, and voter intimidation, affidavits submitted before court show. A few others are based on insufficient academic documents submitted by the eventual winners and defamation.

Jinja High Court is set to hear 14 petitions filed by defeated candidates challenging the outcome of the February 18 parliamentary elections from different parts of Busoga sub region. The cases also cover the nearby districts of Buikwe, Kayunga and Buvuma.

Majority of the petitions are based on indicators of voter bribery, ballot stuffing, declaration of wrong results, and voter intimidation, affidavits submitted before court show. A few others are based on insufficient academic documents submitted by the eventual winners and defamation.

Jinja high court Registrar Suzan Kanyange says all 14 respondents have been served with the summons to file their defense within 10 days effective April 5. She adds that court will set hearing dates after receiving the submissions.

The key petitions include one submitted by Forum for Democratic Change - FDC party Vice President Proscovia Salaamu Musumba challenging the election of Rehema Watongola, of the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party who won the Kamuli Municipality parliamentary seat. Musumba says Watongola does not have the requisite academic papers to contest for a parliamentary seat. 

The other was submitted by Deborah Mwesigwa Mugerwa against the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga with whom they contested for the Kamuli woman parliamentary seat.  

Kadaga is accused of bribing voters with money, water and spray pumps, tents, motorcycles, piggery projects, boreholes and the use of defamatory statements contrary to the Parliamentary Elections Act of 2005.

Mugerwa who lost to Kadaga by over 60,000 votes submitted over 70 affidavits citing intimidation of voters and abuse of office by Kadaga during elections. A number of Affidavits against Kadaga are sworn by staunch NRM stalwarts in Kamuli.

Also under challenge is Nelson Lufafa whose victory as the newly elected representative for Butembe County is contested by FDC's Grace Kiirya Wanzala. Nelson Lufafa is accused of being involved in electoral malpractices.

In Buikwe North, FDC Charles Karazani wants the election of Paul Musoke nullified over electoral malpractice and voter bribery while the same reason is fronted for the desired cancellation of Lubogo Kenneth's victory as the elected Member of Parliament for Bulamogi County.

Independent Bagoole John Baluloba of Luuka North in Luuka district has also challenged the declaration of NRM's Eng. Luke Kyobe as the elected Member of Parliament.

Initially, the Electoral Commission had declared the incumbent legislator Bagoole but Eng. Kyobe sought a recount in the magistrates' court of Iganga which overturned Bagoole's victory and declared Eng. Kyobe. Bagoole has now petitioned the high court to overturn the magistrates' court ruling.

The other contested candidates include James Kiwalabye Majegere for Bunya East, Robert Ntende for Bunhya south, Abdu Katuntu in Bugweri County and Peter Mugema  for Iganga municipality.