Justice Margaret Ouma Oguli has nullified the victory of Mbale LC V chairman, Bernard Ely Mujasi. Oguli made the ruling this afternoon while delivering her judgment on a petition filed by Mujasi's rival, Vincent Magombe. Mujasi emerged winner in the just concluded local council polls with 41, 659 votes against Magombe's 38, 710 votes.
But Magombe rejected the poll results on grounds that Mujasi lacks the requisite academic qualifications and cited discrepancies in the names on his academic qualifications. Known to all as Bernard Mujasi, the Incumbent district chairman is registered as Mujasi Masaba Bernard on the national voter's register. He was nominated as Bernard Mujasi EM, while his academic transcripts bear the name Bernard EW Mujasi Masaba.
He also claimed the polls were not free and fair since they were marred with vote rigging at various polling stations as well as voter intimidation and bribery on voting day. Magombe also accused Electoral Commission of swapping results from 19 polling stations in favor of Mujasi to deny him victory.
In her ruling this afternoon, Justice Margaret Ouma Oguli said the petitioner failed to provide substantial evidence challenging Mujasi's academic qualification and to prove the change of names. She also dismissed claims of vote rigging, saying the petitioner didn't substantiate his claims.
Justice Oguli however, concurred with Magombe on the accusations of voting swapping. Justice Oguli cited the testimony of Mbale District Registrar, Rashid Musinguzi during cross examinations who admitted to some errors during the vote tally, where some results were swapped in favor of Mujasi.
She therefore nullified Mujasi's victory and ordered fresh elections. He also directed EC not to allow Musinguzi anywhere around the fresh polls. Yusuf Mutembuli, the lawyer for the petitioner, said much as they are happy with outcome of the ruling they are unhappy that court didn't grant them costs.
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Mujasi on his side said that: “the ruling had some flaws, but if we are to go to the field, we shall come back.”