By Sakur AbdulSalam
The Court of Appeal has confirmed National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) member Veronica Babirye Kadogo as the validly elected Buyende district woman Member of Parliament (MP).
Justices Remmy Kasule, Cheborion Barishaki and Paul Kahaibale Mugamba ruled that the appellant Annet Mary Nakato had failed to prove the allegations of voter bribery and non-compliance with the electoral laws.
“In the absence of conclusive evidence, it would be wrong for us to annul the election and we have no reason whatsoever to fault the trial judge,” the court ruled on Monday.
The court also observed that there was no evidence from the people who were alleged to have received the donation from the incumbent which would have compelled them to reverse the trial judges’ decision, since voter bribery is a grave illegal practice under the law which needs serious consideration.
The petitioner (Nakato) had alleged that Kadogo gave out sauce pans, hoes, Mosquito nets, cash and other gifts to people in exchange for votes.
On the cancellation of the elections at some polling stations, the justices said even if there was a substantial reduction, it will still leave the incumbent with a successful margin, which shows that it did not affect the results in a substantial manner.
The same court further confirmed Samuel Mugisha as the duly elected chairman of Kiruhura district.
Three justices Steven Kavuma, Richard Buteera and Cheborion Barishaki said the petitioner Moses Bainamatsiko was not validly nominated to contest for the post and therefore he was not an aggrieved candidate.
The justices said it was not necessary for them to discuss other grounds of the petition since the appellant never qualified to originate the petition.
Bainamatsiko claimed that Mugisha does not have academic qualifications to qualify for the seat.
Shortly after the ruling, Bainamatsiko told this website that he is going to apply for a judicial review of the case. “I am not satisfied at all with the decision of the court,” he said.