MUKONO-UGANDA/NEWSDAY: Mukono High Court has dismissed an election petition filed by Ritah Nabadda, a voter challenging the victory Idah Nantaba as Kayunga District Woman Member of Parliament. Ourt ordered Nabadda to pay costs to Nantaba.
Nabadda had petitioned the court to nullify the election of Nantaba for allegedly bribing voters. But on Friday, Nantaba’s lawyer Ambrose Tebyasa raised a preliminary objection on the petition on grounds that it was incompetent.
According to Tebyasa, the petition is not supported by the required 500 signatures of registered voters.
“The lists attached to the affidavit in support of the petition, on pages 11 -57, are persons not voters in Kayunga District. None of them attached their national voter identity card. And no polling station was indicated for any of them. There appeared to be consistent handwriting on pages 14, 16 and 17. As if one person made the entries on those pages,” Tebyasa told court.
Justice Olive Mukwaya Karazawe noted that failure to attach the national voter register extract about each of the 559 supporters was not sufficiently explained by Nabadda’s lawyer.
She also indicated in the ruling that the petitioner’s lawyer suggested that the cost of availing certified copies of the extract for each of the 559 supporters was prohibitive, but then failed to adduce evidence to support this claim or even proving that these documents were ever requested from the EC.
Tebyasa raised another ground that the petitioner attached a certificate of a translation prepared by John Bosco Kitayira without indicating the exact person it was addressed to.
Nabadda’s lawyer Kevin Amunjong reasoned that section 43 of the Interpretation Act allows interpretation of documents as long as it does not affect the substance of the instrument or document.
But Justice Mukwaya indicated that the certificate of translation in the way it was drafted, had no legal consequence one way or the other since it does not attempt to identify the persons to whom it was intended, a situation not envisaged by the Illiterates’ Protection Act cap 78.
“This petition is accordingly struck out with costs to the Respondent.” Lady Justice Mukyaya ruled. BUt Nantaba has two more related cases to defend.
Tebyasa says that he is happy that the court has ruled that there was no valid petition before the court.
The court is also yet to rule on two other petitions against Nantaba.
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