Katuntu, Muwuma Retain Seats as Isabirye Loses Petition to Ntende

Supporters of Bugweri county MP, Abdul Katuntu lift him as they celebrate his court victory.

Justice Susan Abinyu on Friday directed the Electoral Commission to conduct fresh elections in Bunya south constituency, citing irregularities in the election of the current area Member of Parliament, Iddi Isabirye. 

National Resistance Movement -NRM's Isabirye was declared winner over the then incumbent, Robert Ntende to win Bunya South seat. But while delivering her judgement at the Jinja high court, Abinyu stated that, Isabirye was found guilty of voter bribery after he issued 100,000 Shillings to NRM sub county chairpersons in Mayuge district. 

She further accused the Electoral Commission officials of manipulating election results on the final tally sheet, which falsely edged Isabirye ahead of Ntende.

Ntende told journalists that the electoral process was characterized with election related violence and it was only fair that court ruled in his favor.

Meanwhile Isabirye says that he has briefed his lawyers who have already filed a notice of appeal against the judgement. 

Abinyu also dismissed the election petition filed by Ronald Kagyerero against Kigulu south county MP, Milton Muwuma. 

Kagyerero petitioned court that, Muwuma was not fit to be elected as a parliamentary representative since his name did not appear in the election registers.

Muwuma whose academic credentials  bear the name of Milton Muwuma, appeared as Reynard Muwuma Milton Kalulu in the electoral commission registers, which clearly indicates that the two identities belong to different individuals,” reads the petition against him. 

However, Abinyu ruled that, the petitioner failed to provide evidence to support his claims, since Muwuma’s identities were legally gazetted. Kagyerero was also tasked to pay all the costs incurred by Muwuma during the execution of the electoral petition. 

Abinyu further dismissed with costs the election petition filed by Forum for Democratic Change’s-FDC, Julius Galisonga against Bugweri county MP, Abdul Katuntu. 

Galisonga accused Katuntu of orchestrating violence in Idudi trading center, which resulted into chaotic scenes that led to the death of one of his supporters and in turn disorganized his campaigns, costing him the parliamentary seat during the January, 2021, general election.

Abinyu dismissed the petition and directed Galisonga to pay the costs incurred by both electoral commission and Katuntu’s lawyers.

Galisonga’s lawyer, John Isabirye says that his client has given him instructions to appeal against the double costs filed against him. 

“Under normal procedures, losers of election petitions are fined costs for one legal team but we are surprised that for this case, our client has been ordered to pay costs for both electoral commission and the respondent,” he says.

Meanwhile Katuntu urged his voters to desist from divisive politicking tendencies and focus on developmental issues. “I was elected as an independent MP and since the sitting government is NRM, I will cooperate with its’ leadership to ensure economic empowerment of my people, rather than relying on divisive politics,” he says.


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