Court dismisses Busia, Terego MP vote recount

Tuesday January 26 2021
home12pix

Mr Moses Angundru (L) lost the Terego MP race and Mr Joel Leku, Terego MP winner (NRM)

By David Awori
By Felix Warom Okello

                                       
A n election petition filed by Mr Hassan Kamba,  the loser in the Busia Municipality MP race, has been thrown out by the Busia Chief Magistrate’s Court as “baseless and lacking”.

Ms Masitula Namulondo, the chief magistrate, last week, said the grounds raised by the applicant were insufficient.

“The matters raised in this application against the first and second respondent seeking a vote recount are insufficient and the application is hereby dismissed,” Ms Namulondo said. 

Mr Kamba, who polled 3,411 votes against Mr Macho’s 3,507, had filed a petition seeking for a vote recount, claiming that the record from which the second respondent (Electoral Commission) was premised to announce Mr Macho was a forgery.

 The applicant cited Kisenyi ‘B’ N-Z Polling Station where he claimed the votes had been deliberately altered by the presiding officer to award Mr Macho victory.

However, Ms Namulondo ruled that the applicant and his lawyers had failed to provide sufficient evidence to warrant court to order for a vote recount.

Advertisement

News of dismissal of the application left several of Macho supporters jubilant, while Mr Kamba’s supporters looked on in disbelief.

 “How could the presiding magistrate rule that the case lacked merit? This is unacceptable and we are not going to watch as our victory is stolen,” one supporter was heard shouting.

 Ms Agnes Lyaka, one of Mr Macho’s supporters, said: “We went out and voted for Mr Macho in big numbers and it is good court has stood with the will of the majority.” 

Ms Rosemary Siketa, a resident of Mawero B Village in Eastern Division, said the ruling had authenticated their candidate’s victory.

Meanwhile, the Arua Chief Magistrate’s Court on Sunday threw out an election petition seeking a recount of the votes for Terego West Constituency.

 The incumbent MP, Mr Moses Angundru, cited irregularities in the counting of votes and final tallying.

The Arua Chief Magistrate, Mr Daniel Lubowa,  said court had failed to  “ascertain the integrity of the ballot boxes because the returning officer did not provide them. 

“This is how futile this case is because we stayed in Terego upto midday and not even the returning officer or a cleaner was available at the commission’s office. I find that the Electoral Commission (EC) grossly neglected its constitutional mandate to avail material as demanded by court,” Mr Lubowa ruled.

He said court has always discouraged vote recount because of people being agitated. 

“Therefore, I disallow the application on grounds that there was no availability of the ballot boxes and integrity. I order that the Electoral Commission pay general damages to applicant of Shs50m  because of the gross negligence and irresponsible behaviour,” the magistrate added.
Court also ordered EC to pay costs to both applicant and second respondent (Leku).

Advertisement