The Court of Appeal has nullified the election of Busongora County South MP Mujungu Gideon Thembo(NRM) and ordered for a by-election.
During the 2021 polls, Mujungu,NRM, was declared winner by the EC after he polled 7,601 votes beating his major rival former MP Mbaju Jackson, who scored 7,522 votes.
Mbaju however ran to High court at Fort Portal claiming the elections were marred by voter bribery, ballot stuffing, and the existence of ghost voters on the register. He also claimed that his rival lacked the requisite academic qualifications for election as a member of parliament.
However, the case was dismissed on the grounds that the evidence presented to the court by the petitioner was inadequate. He proceeded to file an appeal in the Court of Appeal.
In their ruling on Wednesday, the three Justices of the Court of Appeal led by Fredrick Egonda_Ntende overturned the decision of the High Court in Fort Portal citing malpractice in the election process.
“There is sufficient evidence of ballot pre-ticking, balloting stuffing, and multiple voting, which is strengthened by the fact that the 100% voter turn recorded at one polling station could not have been possible given the fact that there were people who had died and some who did not vote but were still on the voters’ register,” the panel ruled.
The Justices concurred with the appellant Mbaju Jackson that election fraud marred the Polling Stations of Katunguru Primary school, Katunguru Markert, and Busunga Primary school in Kasese District; where dead people voted, somewhere in Saudi Arabia, others in prison, others sworn affidavits that they didn’t participate in the election while the number of those who voted in Busunga Primary school exceeded those who were registered.
The Justices ordered fresh elections and allowed Mbaju’s election appeal with costs.
Mbaju who contested as Independent but leaning toward the National Unity Platform was overjoyed by the verdict,he says this is a chance to prove to his voters that he is a worthy leader.
” I want to mention that this victory is not mine but those who believe in democracy, the rule of law, and that one person is entitled to one vote. This victory is for my voters,” he said.
Meanwhile the same Court of Appeal has confirmed Dr. Ruyonga Joseph as the validly elected MP for Hoima West Constituency in Hoima District and dismissed the election appeal of Kasule Ismail with costs for being misconceived and lacking merit.