Mbale City Woman Member of parliament, Connie Nakayenze Galiwango maintained a firm grip on her seat following the dismissal of an election by her rival, Lydia Wanyoto.
Justice Andrew Baishaija delivered the judgment in his ruling at Mbale High court on Thursday afternoon on grounds that Wanyoto had failed to show evidence that he won the highly contested polls.
Wanyoto ran to the high after suffering resounding defeat to Nakayenze. She garnered 25,276 votes against 40,729 votes polled by the winner. Wanyoto rejected the poll results accusing Nakayenze of electoral malpractices including among others intimidating presiding officers and tampering with the result declaration forms.
He asked the court to nullify Nakayenze’s victory and order the Electoral Commission to organize fresh Mbale Woman City polls. She also sought the costs of the suit. She argued that the principles and the provisions of the law relating to the conduct of credible elections were never followed as numerous election malpractices and irregularities were committed by Nakayenze and EC, which affected the poll results.
In his ruling Justice Andrew Baishaija expunged several affidavits filed by Wanyoto, saying they were not backed with any evidence that could lead to the annulment of the elections. He ruled that Nakayenze resoundingly won the election, arguing that the court couldn’t interfere with her victory without any justification rooted in the law.
Geoffrey Napa, one of Nakayenze’s lawyers, says that the petitioner’s intention was to replay on unsubstantiated evidence, which couldn’t stand the test of time.
Nakayenze welcomed the court verdict, saying that her victory belongs to God who was there to fight for her. She also said that she has forgiven Wanyoto for all the allegations levelled against her, saying it is time to serve her voters.
Wanyoto’s lawyer, Eddy Nangulu said that they are dissatisfied with the court verdict, adding that they will appeal the ruling. He said the ruling was a shock since the judge shied away from the facts they presented before the court.
The Mbale woman city polls attracted six contenders. The others are Luwungule Shadia, an independent, Robina Nadunga from the National Unity Platform- NUP party, Nambuya Mayimuna from the Forum for Democratic Change, and Racheal Nansubuga Kakungulu, an independent.