The High Court in Mubende has nullified Joyce Bagala's election as the Mityana Woman Member of Parliament and ordered for a by-election, following a petition filed by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Judith Nabakooba.
According to Justice Emmanuel Baguma, there was credible evidence of multiple voting during the January 14 election in which the minister came second.
“Court finds that there were acts of non-compliance in different Polling stations in particular, at; King Faisal (ND-Z), Kiyinda A (A-M), Kiganwa Primary School, Kawoko Playground, Mityana A Kanamba, Busimbi Gombolola area (A Nak), Nandegejja, Primary School, Comprehensive S.S Campus, Kiyinda B (Nak z), Busimbi Railway (A-M) and Busimbi/Kasimbi (A-M) at Merryland Polling stations which stood out in non-compliance,” he said.
The judge also said there was enough evidence in the petition to prove that Ms Bagala, through her agents, with her knowledge and consent or approval committed the electoral offence of bribery.
“…and court makes the following Orders; the election of the second respondent (Bagala) as Woman Member of Parliament for Mityana District Constituency is set aside, a by-election is ordered to be held in Mityana District Constituency for the Woman Member of Parliament and the Petitioner is awarded the costs of this petition,” the judge said.
Ms Nabakooba said she was happy with ruling, promising victory in the by-election.
“I thank God for this victory. The Lord has finally answered my prayers. The people of Mityana have made a statement,” she said.
However, Ms Bagala said she will not allow her victory to be “robbed” in broad day light and therefore, will appeal against Justice Baguma’s decision.
In her petition, Ms Nabakooba came second after getting 48,078 votes. She accused the Electoral Commission (EC) and Ms Bagala (respondents) of conspiring to steal her victory.
Mityana District Returning officer, Mr Stephen Makubuya on January 15 declared Ms Bagala of the National Unity Platform (NUP) winner of the hotly contested race after she got 64,305 votes. The other candidate in the race, Ms Brenda Nabaliisa, garnered 1,509 votes.
However, Ms Nabakooba told court that the electoral commission officials failed to do their job, thereby denying her victory.
According to the minister, several presiding officers connived with Ms Bagala’s agents to alter Declaration Results forms to deny her victory.
She also accused Ms Bagala of bribing voters and using security operatives to intimidate her voters.
According to the minister who had also served as Mityana Woman MP (2016-2021) on the ticket of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), Ms Bagala was seen on the Election Day (January 14, 2021) bribing voters with money.
She had asked court to nullify Ms Bagala’s victory and also order for a fresh election.