Kabale. Former Rukungiri Woman MP, Ms Winfred Komuhangi Masiko, on Tuesday told the High Court in Kabale that most of her agents were blocked from getting out of their houses by the Opposition supporters on May 31 last year when voting took place.
Ms Betty Muzanira, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party flag bearer, polled 50,611 votes and was declared winner while Ms Masiko, who was Nnational Resistance Movement flag bearer, got 46,379 votes, emerging the second in the race of four candidates.
Ms Sezi Mbaguta, who contested on Independent ticket, got 993 votes while Ms Fabith Kukundakwe of the People’s Progressive Party polled 183 votes. The by-election came after Court of Appeal nullified the election on grounds of voter bribery during the 2016 election.
Ms Masiko petitioned the High Court on July 6 seeking nullification of Ms Muzanira’s victory, claiming the process was marred with several irregularities and malpractices. She wants court to order fresh election.
Ms Masiko is the first witness in a case filed against Ms Muzanira and the Electoral Commission (EC).
Justice Kawumi Kazibwe is hearing the petition. Two other witnesses, Ms Novance Asiimwe, and Mr Wednesday Gracious Twinomujini, told court that they were intimidated by the “Power 10” of FDC party led by Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu and former Rukiga MP Jack Sabiiti in Nyakishenyi Sub-county.
They further said they did not report the matter to the police because of fear that they would be harmed by Opposition supporters. Mr Emmanuel Mucunguzi and Mr Eliot Twijukye were the other witnesses, who testified that the electoral process was not free and fair.
Ms Masiko is represented by lawyers Justus Karuhanga and Edwin Tabaro. They had presented 22 witnesses but 17 of them were last week struck off the court record because their affidavits were incompetent and not curable, in the view of the presiding judge.
Ms Muzanira is represented by lawyer Jude Byamukama and has lined up 33 witnesses to prove that the election was free and fair. Mr Patrick Wetaka represents the EC.