Court of Appeal orders new polls for Jinja Municipality East

Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI |  The Court of Appeal on Friday ordered fresh elections be conducted in Jinja Municipality East constituency after discovering that the Electoral Commission (EC) did not conduct the last polls in accordance with electoral laws.
Basing on reported fraud that marred the said election in polling station Danida A-Z, FDC’s Paul Mwiru had earlier been declared the winner of that election by the High Court in Jinja but Justices Steven Kavuma, Richard Buteera and Paul Mugamba on Friday refused to uphold that lower court decision.
The Court of Appeal however ordered NRM’s Nathan Igeme Nabeta to pay Mwiru costs both in the High Court and Court of Appeal, and for fresh polls to be conducted by the EC.
Mwiru also FDC deputy spokesman had challenged the election of Nabeta on grounds that the election was not free and fair adding that it was marred by irregularities.
Speaking outside court after the ruling, Mwiru said what he has got from the Court of Appeal is truth but not justice because of the failure by the court to automatically declare him as the new Jinja Municipality East MP after finding Nabeta guilty of interfering with poll results.
“I agree with the decision of court but disagree with the conclusion of the justices. It has been the judiciary under trial because the intervention of court in the electoral processes goes a long way to guarantee the integrity of the electoral process,” Mwiru said.
In a similar case, the Court of Appeal last year threw out DP’s Nansana Municipality MP Wakyima Musoke Nsereko and declared NRM’s Robert Kasule Ssebunya without fresh polls.
The justices unanimously agreed with the High Court that Wakayima Musoke Nsereko doesn’t qualify to be an Member of Parliament (MP) for Nansana Municipality because he was nominated in error.
This is second time Mwiru is challenging Nabeta election in court. In 2011, Mwiru challenged Nabeta on lack of academic qualifications and won the case.
Before the February election, Mwiru also filed a petition to stop Nabeta from contesting saying he lacked the requisite academic qualifications but Jinja High Court dismissed the application then.

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