Sunday March 20 2016

Mbabazi lays evidence on dubious vote results

Mr Amama Mbabazi’s lawyers Jude Byamukama,

Mr Amama Mbabazi’s lawyers Jude Byamukama, Mohmed Mbabazi, Severino Twinobusingye and Michael Akampurira consult during a break at the Supreme Court yesterday. PHOTO BY DOMINIC BUKENYA.  

By Anthony Wesaka, Isaac Imaka, & Ivan Okuda

Kampala- Mr Amama Mbabazi’s lawyers on Saturday laid evidence before the Supreme Court showing glaring discrepancies between the number of votes recorded in the tally sheets and those in the results declaration forms.

The nine-judge panel of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, is hearing the petition filed by former presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi who is challenging the validity of President Museveni’s election on February 18.
In the case, Mr Mbabazi, the former prime minister is referred to as the Petitioner while President Museveni, the Electoral Commission and Attorney General are cited as the first, second and third Respondents, respectively.

In a move to tighten their case, counsel Mohmed Mbabazi, the lead lawyer representing Mr Mbabazi, cited Nyakabungo polling station in Kabale District in which zero votes were recorded in the tally sheets and yet in the declaration forms, there were votes recorded.

For example at the polling station, President Museveni in the results declaration forms got 390 votes, Kizza Besigye got 176, Mbabazi zero, Elton Joseph Mabirizi two, Benon Biraaro zero, Maureen Kalya one and Abed Bwanika zero.

Yet the tally sheet for the same polling station showed all candidates received zero votes.
Mr Mbabazi told court that such anomalies were not only registered in Kabale but also in other districts such as Jinja, Kyenjojo, and Wakiso.

“The will of the people was perverted. It’s the results declaration forms that have the results which were not considered by the EC and yet that is where the will of the people is,” a tough talking Mr Mbabazi submitted
“What happened? We don’t need numbers, all this was a calculated scheme to conceal information. People voted but their votes remained on Declaration forms as the IT people put in information that they wanted.

This is not a valid vote. This is a proper case to determine the validity as opposed to numbers and this is the mystery that your lordships should interrogate,” he submitted.
Mr Mbabazi was pointing out how the election results entered on the declaration forms differed sharply from the results on the tally sheets.

The results declaration forms, which reflect the vote count at the polling station level, were brought by the EC on Friday morning following an order by the Chief Justice who heads the panel of nine judges hearing the petition.

Still in Kabale District, Mr Mbabazi gave an example of the returning officer called Mr Adam Shesha who gave two different conflicting accounts of how he transmitted the results to the national tallying centre in Namboole for consideration.

The first theory was that he physically transported the compute server to Kampala because it had broken down and it could not download the results. The other theory was that he transmitted the results electronically to Kampala.

“These two don’t rhyme, these are lies….” Mr Mbabazi submitted.

The other contradiction laid before the court was that Bishop Mwesigwa whom Mr Mbabazi said his declaration forms were signed by the EC chairman Eng Kiggundu yet the results were electronically transmitted.

He questioned how Dr Badru Kiggundu could have signed the forms whose results were transmitted electronically.
Mr Severino Twinobusingye, another of Mr Mbabazi’s lawyer, was by press time submitting on other discrepancies in the vote tallies regarding matrix sheets to show court how in some incidents there was a 100 per cent voter turn-up.

He gave the example of President Museveni’s home district of Kiruhura where there was 100 per cent voter turn up and all of them voted for one person.

Mr Twinobusingye also went ahead to show court how in some polling stations, there were more votes cast that the registered voters.

The petitioner’s lawyers were still presenting more details on the mismatch of votes on results declaration forms and tally sheets.

The discrepancies

Building their case: Mr Mbabazi’s team is using data provided by the Electoral Commission to show court the discrepancies that they say should be considered to argue thier case in which they seek annulment of Mr Museveni’s victory.
Provided forms: The documents, including declaration forms and tally sheets were provided to Mr Mbabazi’s team on Friday after court had directed Electoral Commission to provide them.