Minister Kabakumba election petition dismissed

Monday June 6 2011

Minister in-charge of Presidency, Ms Kabakumba Labwoni Matsiko

Minister in-charge of Presidency, Ms Kabakumba Labwoni Matsiko  

By George Muzoora

High court in Masindi has dismissed a petition filed against the newly sworn in Minister in-charge of Presidency, Ms Kabakumba Labwoni Matsiko and the Electoral commission (EC).

Mr. Phinehas Kyotasobora (independent) stood and lost to Kabakukumba in the February 18 Bujenje County parliamentary polls in Masindi district.

He later sued Kabakumba and EC accusing them of vote rigging and committing other electoral offences and asked court to declare Bujenje county parliamentary elections null and void and order for fresh polls.

In his ruling on Monday, Justice Wilson Kwesiga said “I agree with the Mr. Rashid (the lawyer for the petitioner) that elections must be conducted in a free and fair manner and that there must be transparency.”

Justice Kwesiga however noted that the above principal has been used to settle many cases citing Kizza Besigye Vs Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of 2001 which was handled by Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki. He said the principal of free and fair cannot be compromised.

Justice Kwesiga said that Mr. Kyotasobora adduced several pieces of evidence against the Ist and 2nd Respondents but his witnesses failed to convince court.

Court found that the petitioner and his witnesses failed to prove allegations of bribery by the 1st respondent and the means which she used to move around the constituency.

“The vehicle registration number UAP 937 F was denied by the respondent because it is a tipper lorry belonging to Spencon” he said.

He also said that there is no evidence to show that the soldiers were deployed in Bujenje and that they intimidated people.

“There is no evidence that a single person was manhandled by the soldiers and above all not every minister is in charge of military deployment. This must be proved” he said.

Justice Kwesiga ruled that “This baseless claim is therefore dismissed. The petitioner is not entitled to anything he asked for in court.”

However, Mr. Kyotasobora immediately instructed his lawyer Rashid Babu to appeal. Minister Kabakumba was not in court but was represented by her lawyer Mr John Paul Baigana.