Kibale County NUP MP Candidate Protests Disqualification from Race

Gibson Amanya was yesterday notified by the Kamwenge district returning officer, George William Magezi, that his candidature had been nullified by the Electoral Commission.
Gibson Amanya.
The National Unity Platform - NUP party candidate is protesting disqualification from the Kibale County parliamentary race in Kamwenge district. 

Gibson Amanya was on Wednesday notified by the Kamwenge district returning officer, George William Magezi, that his candidature had been nullified by the Electoral Commission. 

According to Magezi, Amanya was duly nominated on October 15 after he fulfilled the requirements.

Magezi, however, says that after his nomination, two of his supporters petitioned the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, arguing that an undisclosed agent of Amanya had obtained their signatures after deceiving them that he was a National Resistance Movement - NRM aspirant.

The two are Charles Kakuru and William Ainomugisha, both residents of Kamwenge Kibale County. 

The returning officer adds that the Electoral Commission summoned Amanya and the two petitioners to the headquarters in Kampala where they reportedly said that Amanya's agent had lied to them that he is an NRM aspirant. 

Magezi also says that Amanya admitted the signatures were obtained by an undisclosed agent and it could be possible that the two were misinformed about his party. 

It is against this background that the Commission's Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama, nullified Amanya's candidature, saying that it was contravening Section 11(1) (a) of the Parliamentary Elections Act which requires that nomination of a candidate to be made by two registered voters appearing in person tendering to the returning officer. 

"That the decision of the Returning Officer, Kamwenge District nominating Mr Gibson Amanya is hereby reversed," reads Byamukama's letter to Kakuru dated November 4. 

According to the letter that URN has seen, Byamukama says that he derived his powers from Article 61(1) (f) of the Constitution of Uganda which empowers him to reverse the decision of the returning officer. 

But Amanya says that when he was summoned by Byabakama about two weeks ago, he went and the petitioners said that no one misinformed them about his party and that it is him who sought the signatures and not his agent. 

"The said petitioners told the Electoral Commission that they knew me very well. So I asked them what their problem was but they didn't tell me anything. As a result, the commission asked us to leave and promised to get back to me. I got shocked yesterday when I learnt that my candidature had been nullified," he says. 

Amanya adds that he did not have an idea the Electoral Commission was going to deliver such a ruling in his absence.

"I went to the field myself and collected the signatures myself. Do you want to say that the petitioners did not know the NRM flag bearer? They knew me very well. Someone must be trying to use them against me," Amanya adds. 

He says that he is now liaising with his lawyers to seek court redress, adding that it could be a planned move to frustrate his political ambitions since radio stations in Kamwenge have been also denying him a platform. 

When contacted, Kakuru said he could not give an elaborate comment about the matter because he had not yet received Byabakama's letter. 

But Magezi says that all the parties are aware of the decision by the Electoral Commission and the aggrieved can appeal it in court. 

Amanya had been nominated with NRM candidate and incumbent Eng Cuthbert Mirembe who is now unopposed in the race. 

Images 1