Mixed fortunes as one MP loses seat and another stays

Monday September 5 2011

By Michael J. Ssali

Monitor Correspondent

The Bukoto South parliamentary seat is now vacant, following a High Court ruling in Masaka on Friday that Hajj Mohammed Mbabaali Muyanja (NRM) does not possess the required academic qualifications to be an MP.

High Court, presided over by Justice Owiny Dollo, also nullified the degree of Business and Public Administration which Muyanja claims to have obtained from Nkumba University in 2003.

Also pronounced null and void were his diplomas which he claimed to have got from CIT International College in Malaysia and from Apas College respectively. Justice Dollo found both documents fraudulent since there was no evidence that the colleges actually exist.

The election petition was filed by Mr Mathias Nsubuga (DP) who lost to Mbabaali in the last parliamentary elections. Nsubuga was represented by Mr Caleb Alaka and Mr Samuel Muyizzi Mulindwa, while Mbabaali was represented by Mr Peter Nkurunziza and Mr Evans Ochieng.

University entrance
In his 40-page-judgment, Justice Dollo observed that Hajj Mbabaali entered Nkumba University in September 2000 with a diploma, purportedly obtained from Apas College in December 2000, which was ‘funny’.

He also observed that all correspondence from CIT International College indicated that the college never offered the courses which Mbabaali claimed to have taken, and that at any rate the college was long closed before the time Mbabaali claimed to have taken lessons from it by correspondence.

It was further observed that Mbabaali entered Nkumba University without ever being properly evaluated with regard to his academic competence. He also presented an ‘O’ level Certificate that did not carry all his current names of Muyanja Mbabaali, apart from bearing very modest grades. Both parties are to bear their own costs.

In the same court a little earlier, Justice Dollo dismissed the election petition filed by Hajj Idd Lubyayi Kisiki against the election of Hon. Deo Kiyingi (DP) of Bukomansimbi. Kisiki had accused Kiyingi of electoral malpractices in the last parliamentary elections.

Justice Dollo found the accusations baseless, and dismissed the petition with costs. Some of the MPs who have lost their seats are: Dr. Francis Epetait, Ngora County, Mr Peter Mugema, Iganga Municipality, Mr Saleh Kamba, Kibuku County, Mr Fredrick Mbagadhi Nkayi, Kagoma County, and Mr Mohammed Kawuma, Entebbe Municipality.