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Mukono Court Dismisses Election Petition Against Nantaba

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Court of Appeal Orders for Retrial of Kayunga Woman MP Election Petition

An election petition contesting Idah Nantaba’s election as the woman representative for the Kayunga District was rejected by the High court in Mukono.

After receiving 47,725 votes in 2021, Nantaba ran on an independent ticket and beat six other contenders. Ritah Nabadda, a Nazigo Sub-County Councillor, however, disputed Nantaba’s win and filed a lawsuit with the High Court, accusing Nantaba of voting fraud.

Judge Olive Kazaarwe Mukwaya of the Mukono High court, however, denied Nabadda’s petition due to her incapacity and the absence of the required 500 signatures from district registered voters. Nabadda filed an appeal to contest Kazaarwe’s judgment.

Geoffrey Kiryabwire, Stephen Musota, and Christopher Gashirabake made up the three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal that overturned the Mukono High Court’s ruling and ordered a new trial last year. Nabadda requested that the election be annulled, a new election be conducted, and that she be given her expenses back.

Justice Collins Acellam concluded on Friday that the petition against Nantaba was ineligible because it lacked the legal backing of 500 valid voter signatures from the Kayunga district, as required by the law.

The court has also taken into account the fact that this petition was filed in accordance with section 60(2), which enables a registered voter in a constituency to contest the election of a member of parliament if they are dissatisfied with the results or think that person was not fairly chosen. Acellam signified justice.

Regarding claims of voter bribery and the distribution of food and other supplies in the hamlet of Kambatani, Acellam said that Nabadda had failed to provide evidence that the Nantaba had broken any election laws. Each side is responsible for its own expenses, according to Acellam.

Acellam said that punishing such voters would simply serve to discourage them from running in elections, even if they felt the polls had not been handled in accordance with the law.

Ambrose Tebyasa, the attorney for Nantaba, welcomed the decision but expressed displeasure that Nantaba was not given costs despite the fact that she had incurred significant expenses during the petition hearing. Phillip Kasinga, the attorney for Nabadda, stated that they would respect the court’s ruling.

The National Unity Platform’s (NUP) Wilson Male filed an election petition disputing the win of the Democratic Party’s Fred Kayondo as the Mukono South County MP, and the High Court has requested extra time to issue its ruling.

Judge Olive Kazarwe Mukwaya of the Mukono High court rejected the petition in October 2021 on the grounds that the commissioner of oaths who signed it lacked a practicing certificate. A new hearing in the High court was mandated by three judges of the Court of Appeal, who reversed the verdict.

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