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Leaders Call for Calm After Court Ruling on Soroti City Boundaries

On Wednesday, Justice Wilson Masalu Musene overturned his ruling and reverted the two Aloet and Opiyai wards to Soroti East Division basing on the affidavits from the Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi.
Soroti City Council Emblem.

Audio 3

There is anxiety in Soroti City following the High Court ruling that overturned its verdict on the Soroti City boundaries. 

On Wednesday, Justice Wilson Masalu Musene overturned his ruling and reverted the two Aloet and Opiyai wards to Soroti East Division basing on the affidavits from the Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi. His decision was informed by the miscellaneous application filed by Soroti Municipality MP, Herbert Edmund Ariko in February.

Ariko sought a review of the November judgement, nullification of results for the January elections and costs for applying. 

In November, Justice Musene ruled that Aloet and Opiyai wards were illegally annexed to Soroti East Division. He ordered that the two wards are added to Soroti West Division on grounds that they were erroneously added to Soroti East Division by the Local Government Minister, Raphael Magezi.

Justice Musene on Wednesday asked each party to bear their costs and the Electoral Commission to take appropriate action in compliance with the revised ruling.

Ariko and his lawyer, Yusuf Mutembuli said that the court ruling has opened doors for the fresh elections in Soroti City. 

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But Joan Alobo Acom, the newly elected Woman MP for Soroti City says the ruling isn’t a threat to her victory. She confidently told our reporter that even if the Electoral Commission called for fresh elections, she will still emerge the winner. 

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Moses Attan Okia, the Soroti East Division MP-elect who defeated Ariko in the January elections says he will consult with his lawyers for the next course of action. His counterpart from Soroti West Division, Jonathan Ebwalu said that he will announce his next move after hearing from the Electoral Commission.

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Soroti City voted mainly the opposition Forum for Democratic Change- FDC party. Out of three MP slots, FDC won two while the other was taken by an independent FDC leaning candidate. 

Both the city mayor and the division mayors are from FDC, leaving NRM with some council member seats. 

The Electoral Commission Spokesman, Paul Bukenya couldn’t pick or return our reported calls for the comment.