Kabale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The High Court in Kabale has upheld the victory of Security Minister Jim Katugugu Muhwezi, as Rujumbura County Member of Parliament and that of Wilfred Niwagaba, as Ndorwa East County Member of Parliament.
The petition against Muhwezi, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party flag bearer was filed by Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party flag bearer Fred Turyamuhweza.
Muhwezi defeated Turyamuhweza with 23,990 votes against his 20,556 votes.
Turyamuhweza rejected the results and petitioned the court citing voter bribery, ballot stuffing and intimidation.
In a judgment delivered on Monday by Justice Phillip Odoki, he dismissed the petition with costs, stating that Turyamuhweza failed to prove to the satisfaction of the court all the grounds.
“Since the petitioner has failed to prove to the satisfaction of the court all the grounds of the petition, the petition is accordingly dismissed with costs,” Odoki states. Odoki also said that on applying the quantitative test, the voter margin between the petitioner and Muhwezi was 5,243 votes, and Turyamuhweza did not adduce any evidence to show that this numerical margin would have been different or he would have won the election if there was compliance.
Odoki also said that Turyamuhweza did not produce evidence that can lead to the conclusion that the election was a sham.
Mwesigwa Rukutana, Muhwezi’s lawyer welcomed the judgment saying that his client had all the evidence to prove that the election was free and fair. He also said that Turyamuhweza had filed a weak petition.
Odoki also dismissed with costs Protazio Begumisa’s election petition against Wilfred Niwagaba. Begumisa who was the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party flag bearer garnered 15,826 votes while Niwagaba, an independent candidate got 15,962 votes.
But Begumisa petitioned the court challenging Niwagaba’s victory on grounds of rigging, vote bribery, and harassing his agents. Begumisa also accused Niwagaba of conniving with police officers who had been deployed in Ndorwa East to rig the elections.
Justice Odoki dismissed Begumisa’s petition with costs stating that Begumisa failed to prove to the satisfaction of the court all the grounds of the petition. Odoki also says that Begumisa did not provide evidence of harassment, violence, and intimidation during the voting day.
Niwagaba told our reporter that upholding his victory was overdue because all Begumisa’s accusations were baseless.