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Court Dismisses Petition Against MP Wakayima

The Judge ruled that Wakayima's Uganda Certificate of Education, Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education and Diploma in Secondary Education from ITEK were duly verified by the issuing authorities and therefore valid.
Nansana Municipality MP Hannington Wakayima Musoke Nsereko

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The High Court in Kampala has dismissed with costs an election petition filed against the Nansana Municipality Member of Parliament Wakayima Musoke Hannington Nsereko. 

Wakayima's victory was challenged by his rival Hamis Musoke Walusimbi who accused him of lack of academic qualifications and discrepancies in his name.

The Electoral Commission declared Wakayima who contested on the National Unity Platform ticket with 67,862 votes as the winner while Walusimbi the petitioner garnered 744 votes.

Walusimbi filed a petition against Wakayima and the Electoral Commission raising eight grounds which he later abandoned and proceeded with the ground of lack of academic qualifications.

Walusimbi through his lawyer Abbas Bukenya had told the court that Wakayima was nominated yet he did not have the minimum academic requirement of an Advanced Level of Education to be elected as a Member of Parliament.

Court further heard that Wakayima never swore a proper deed poll changing his name adding that even the documents he relied on were sworn by a different person in the name of Wakayima Musoke Nsereko Hannington. He also said that his academic documents had not properly been verified by UNEB.

However, Wakayima who was being represented by lawyer Richard Latigo and lawyer Hamidu Lugoloobi of the Electoral Commission asked the court to dismiss the petition on grounds that he was nominated legally since he had all the academic qualifications to be in Parliament and had since sworn a deed poll to rectify changes in his name to indicate that the different names in his academic documents all belonged to Wakayima.

On Tuesday, High Court Judge Henrietta Wolayo dismissed the petition and ruled that Wakayima's Uganda Certificate of Education, Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education and Diploma in Secondary Education from ITEK were duly verified by the issuing authorities and therefore valid.

" The first respondent/Wakayima published a deed poll that retained his old names Musoke Hannington and adopted two other names Wakayima Nsereko thereby fulfilling the requirements in the prescribed law and removing the disparity that had been pointed out by the Court of Appeal", said by Wolayo.

Adding "lastly, no one has turned up to claim to be Musoke Hannington and neither has anyone turned up to claim they know of Musoke Hannington who is being impersonated by the first respondent/Wakayima".

According to Justice Wolayo, Walusimbi failed to satisfy the court that Wakayima was wrongly nominated when he did not possess academic qualifications.

"Now that the first respondent/Wakayima went through the process of change of names by adopting the name of Wakayima Musoke Hannigton Nsereko and renouncing all other names including Musoke Hannington, the disparity between the two current names and the academic certificates has been removed.   It was never a question of validating academic documents but it was a question of compliance with legal requirements for change of name", she added.

Justice Wolayo has also noted that the said process did not take away the fact that Wakayima was the same person as Musoke Hannington who is named in the academic certificates and which names he retains.

To support her decision, the Judge relied on a case filed by Tinka Bigirwenkya Beatrice against the Electoral Commission in 2011 where the Court of Appeal held that the swearing of a deed poll does not make one forfeit all rights attached to former names.

Justice Wolayo found ruled that Wakayima was lawfully nominated because he was not only a citizen and a registered voter, but he also possessed the required academic qualifications UCE and UACE for Member of Parliament. 

Wakayima's lawyer Richard Latigo has said that there was nothing big against his client because he had already sworn a deed poll ahead of the elections and police investigated his documents and made a report to confirm that all the papers he presented belonged to him.

In 2017, the Court of Appeal threw Wakayima out of Parliament arguing that the name under which he was nominated Hannington Wakayima Musoke Nsereko was not in the voter's register. The court observed that the registered voter was Musoke Hannington Nsereko.

The same court ruled that such discrepancies in Wakayima's names indicated that he also lacks the minimum academic qualifications and as such, Wakayima had to make a deed poll later denouncing the previous five ways he used to arrange his name to secure today's victory.

Wakayima has stated that his hope in the justice system has been restored.

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