Kabale High Court is today expected to deliver its judgment in a petition challenging the election of Security minister, Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi Katugugu as MP for Rujumbura, Rukungiri District.
Justice Phillip Odoki, who has been hearing the petition for the past one month, is expected to read out the ruling.
“Take notice that judgment in this petition shall be delivered/ read on November 1, 2021 at 1pm by email,” reads in part the judgment notice issued out by the registrar of the court, Mr Julius Borore, to the parties last week.
Gen Muhwezi is being represented by former deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana of Mwesigwa Rukutana & Co. Advocates.
This is Mr Rukutana’s first election petition to handle ever since he was dropped from Cabinet mid this year and returned to private practice after 28 years.
The minister’s election is being challenged by Mr Fred Turyamuhweza Tumuheirwe, a former contestant for the Rujumbura seat.
The Electoral Commission declared Gen Muhwezi as the winner of the January 14 polls with 23,990 votes while the petitioner polled 20,556 votes.
However, Mr Turyamuhweza avers that the said election was not conducted in accordance with the provisions and principles laid down in electoral laws.
Mr Tumuheirwe claims that Gen Muhwezi committed various illegal practices and election offences and that the EC failed to intervene and restrain him despite several pleas.
“Your petitioner (Mr Tumuheirwe) avers that the 1st respondent (Gen. Muhwezi) at various places and on different occasions, specified in here committed illegal practices of fundraising and giving illegal donations during campaign period, contrary to Section 68 (7) of the Parliamentary Elections Act, 2005 as amended,” Mr Turyamuhweza states in his petition.
The petitioner goes on to break down the alleged dishing out of donations by the minister during election time.
He claims that on October 18, 2020, at Kajwamushana Church of Uganda, the minister personally and publicly donated Shs5m towards the building fund of the said church and urged Christians to support him in the parliamentary elections. Mr Tumuheirwe further alleges that on November 5, 2020, at Bwambara, Kyabahanga, Bugarama, Gen Muhwezi made a donation of Shs500,000 to the family of the late Jane Nshemereirwe at her burial ceremony where he expressly campaigned and urged the mourners to vote for him.
He is also accused of having promised and later donated sports items such as balls and jerseys to the youth at Nyakanyinya playground on November 11, and also on December 28, 2020, donated 150 iron sheets at Bwambara Sub-county to three different churches of Nyabugando, Bugarama and Kyabahanga for the explicit purpose of influencing votes.
The petitioner now wants court to annul Gen Muhwezi’s election and order fresh elections.
But the minister has since denied all the bribery related allegations labelled against him.