Kiiza’s return to Parliament lies in balance

Wednesday August 15 2012

By Sheila Naturinda

The victory and possible return to Parliament by freshly re- elected Kasese Woman MP Winnie Kiiza as soon as she wants hangs in balance following police interception of all documents declaring her winner of the hotly-contested by-election.

Ms Kiiza, from FDC, may therefore fail to return to Parliament because the Electoral Commission cannot send her winning details in the national gazette as a duly elected MP.

Parliament is currently on a break handling budget appropriations at the committee level and the plenary is expected to resume by end of this month.
The EC spokesperson, Mr Willy Charles Ochola, told this newspaper that the commission had noted the interruption caused by the police affected the final process.

Kasese district returning officer Valley Kanzira was arrested two days after the by-election over alleged fraud in the elections and police also took with him all the forms the EC headquarters needs to order for a gazette.

“Our hands are tied. We cannot gazette her because we do not have the documents until police releases the returning officer and the documents which they took with him,” Mr Ochola said.

EC expects Mr Kanzira like any other returning officer to submit all the tally sheets and transmit result forms, declaration forms which the commission does not have since the voting day.

The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Nandala Mafabi, when contacted said his office has written to the EC boss asking him to do his work, “because it is not police work to gazette a winner.”

Ms Kiiza and her party Electoral Commission chairman Dan Mugarura also said he would lodge a formal complaint over the delay. Police spokesperson Simon Kutesa when contacted said the returning officer would be charged with negligence of duty. He, however, referred this reporter to his deputy for details, saying he was in a meeting.

“because gazzeting should be done within 48 hours after declaration.”
Mr Kanzira was arrested by detectives from the Political and Media Crimes Unit after over complaints of returning officers and probable connivance with the opposition to cheat the NRM of its victories.

Mr Ochola was speaking after a commission meeting which he said had resolved