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Bukomansimbi Petitioner Sheds Tears as EC Defends MP Namaganda's Election

Halima Nakawungu, the defeated Bukomansimbi District Woman Parliamentary candidate yesterday stunned court in Masaka when she broke down and cried as electoral commission defended her rival, area MP Susan Namaganda.
Halima Nakawungu, the defeated Bukomansimbi District Woman Parliamentary candidate yesterday stunned court in Masaka when she broke down and cried as electoral commission defended her rival, area MP Susan Namaganda.

This was during the cross examination of Anna Ahebwa, the Bukomansimbi district returning officer in an election petition in which Nakawungu is challenging Namaganda’s election citing election fraud. Ahebwa had appeared before presiding judge Justice Elizabeth Musoke to explain the discrepancies surrounding the election, and declaration of Susan Namaganda as the winner.

 NRM’s Nakawungu alleges that several of her votes were irregularly invalidated by the electoral polling officials to grant her rival victory.

During cross examination, Kamugisha Byamugisha, Nakawungu’s lawyer tasked Ahebwa to explain why declaration forms and tally sheets had not been signed.  Kamugisha also tasked Ahebwa to explain why all the votes belonging to disabled persons were invalidated.

But Ahebwa explained that it was not true that all disabled persons’ votes were invalidated. She argued that all the invalidated votes did not bare a thumb print or a tick. According to her, only a few votes which did not bear a tick or thumb print or those that had any of the two signs crossing over to all the candidates, had been invalidated.

She also told court that it was very illogical for Nakawungu to swear an affidavit telling court that all the invalidated votes belonged to her. Ahebwa claimed that the invalidated votes belonged to both Nakawungu and Namaganda and at the end of the tallying of all the valid votes, she declared Namaganda as the winner because she obtained the majority votes.

At this point, Halima Nakawungu, who was sitting at the front desk in the court stood up and walked to words Sam Sserwanga, Susan Namaganda’s lawyer and whispered something but when she returned to her seat, she just broke down and cried. She spent about 10minutes crying over unclear circumstances and attracted the attention of the people in the courtroom.

Nakawungu, who is expecting did not say anything as to why she was crying. Several people including DP’s Mukasa Mbidde and her rival Susan Namaganda instead burst into prolonged laugher. At this moment, Kamugisha stopped cross examining Ahebwa and the judge suddenly stopped the hearing and went to her chambers.

At this moment, court officials asked Nakawungu to explain why she was crying but she instead continued crying.

Speaking during the short break, Namaganda and her lawyer, Hassan Kamba, claimed that Nakawungu could have sensed that she was going to lose the election petition going by what the witnesses have said.

Kamugisha Byamugisha, Nakawungu’s lawyer was also laboring to find out from her client what went wrong.

Earlier in the day, two of Nakawungu’s witnesses disowned their affidavits saying some of the statements therein did not belong to them.

In the February 18th elections, Susan Namaganda polled 15537 votes against Nakawungu’s 15076 votes.

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