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Kayunga Councilor Appeals Dismissal of Petition Against Nantaba Election

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Dissatisfied with the decision, Nabadda through her lawyers of Okalang Law Chambers has filed an appeal before the Court of Appeal in Kampala citing eight grounds.
28 Sep 2021 20:56
Idah Nantaba at Mukono Court recently.
Ritah Nabadda, the Nazigo Sub-county Councilor has appealed the dismissal of her petition challenging the election of Idah Erios Nantaba as Kayunga Woman Member of parliament.  

On September 10, 2021, Mukono High Court Lady Justice Olive Kazaarwe Mukwaya dismissed Nabadda’s petition on grounds of incompetence and lack of the supportive 500 signatures from registered voters in the district. 

She ordered Nabadda to pay costs of the suit to Nantaba, whose lawyers had raised preliminary objection to the application citing lack of valid signatures. Dissatisfied with the decision, Nabadda through her lawyers of Okalang Law Chambers has filed an appeal before the Court of Appeal in Kampala citing eight grounds. 

She contends that the learned trial Judge erred in law and fact when she failed to find that the preliminary objection raised by Nantaba's lawyers led by Ambrose Tebyasa required adducing evidence. As such, she says it was premature for the Judge to dismiss the petition.  

"The learned trial Judge erred in law when she determined matters of evidence by way of preliminary objection without subjecting the petition to a hearing thus occasioning a miscarriage of justice ", reads the appeal in part.

She also faults the Judge for having reached a conclusion to the effect that in election petitions once hearing commences there is no opportunity to call additional evidence, arguing that there is a provision to add evidence in the Parliamentary Elections Act.

"The learned trial Judge erred in law and fact when she reached a conclusion that the petitioner had failed to prove that the 559 supporters stated to be in support of the petition are duly registered voters in Kayunga district without conducting a hearing or receiving evidence", adds the appeal.

The Primary School teacher also accuses the Judge of having found that the certificate of translation was of no legal consequence, which she says resulted into miscarriage of justice. She now wants the Court of Appeal to set aside Justice Kazaarwe's decision and revert the petition to Mukono High court for hearing before a different judge.     

Nabadda ran to court accusing Nantaba of voter bribery during the January 14, 2021 polls. Her appeal bring to 22, the number of appeals arising from the 2021 general elections and High Court decisions. The former State Minister for Information, Communication and Technology and National Guidance stood on an Independent ticket and trounced six other candidates after garnering 47,725 votes.  

She defeated Harriet Nakwedde of National Unity Platform who garnered 37,117 votes, Jackline Birungi Kobusingye, an Independent Candidate who got 10,202 votes, Agatha Nalubwama of National Resistance Movement who garnered 9237 votes and Margaret Nabirye who came fifth with 3,648 votes.  

Others included Brenda Nakaddu of Forum for Democratic Change who got 889 votes and Democratic Party candidate Lydia Wabuza who trailed the pack with 303 votes. Birungi and Nakwedde also challenged Nantaba’s victory on grounds of electoral malpractices and lack of the required academic qualifications to be in Parliament.

So far, only one petition by Nakwedde is not yet determined. The rest have since been dismissed.