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MP Ariko Petitions Court Over Soroti City Boundaries

The MP is aggrieved by the ruling of Soroti City boundaries that put Aloet and Opiyai wards to Soroti City West Division. According to Ariko, the two wards were in Soroti City East Division but erroneously annexed to Soroti West Division, something that caused him victory.
Petition by Herbert Edmund Ariko.
Soroti Municipality MP, Herbert Edmund Ariko has petitioned High Court over the Soroti City boundaries. Ariko, who lost his bid to represent Soroti City East Division in Parliament to Moses Okia Attan attributes his loss to alteration of Soroti City boundaries. 

He wants the Judgement and Orders of Soroti High Court Judge, Justice Wilson Masalu Musene dated November 26 2020 reviewed and set aside.

Ariko also wants the High Court to nullify and set aside all actions taken in pursuit of the ruling and orders in the same suit.

Ariko is aggrieved by the ruling of Soroti City boundaries that annexed Aloet and Opiyai wards to Soroti City West Division. According to Ariko, the two wards were in Soroti City East Division but erroneously annexed to Soroti West Division, which he claims cost him victory.

In November, Justice Musene reverted Aloet, Arapai, Orwadai and Opiyai wards from Soroti City East to Soroti City West. Justice Musene, in his ruling, said that the wards were erroneously included in Soroti City East Division by the Local Government Minister, Raphael Magezi.

The ruling by Justice Musene was delivered after it emerged that some politicians allegedly altered the boundaries to serve their political interests. The judge also awarded costs to the plaintiffs who include Michael Enyagu Etadu, Robert Onanyang, Stephen Erienyu, Patrick Ejelu and Brian Omoding.

But Ariko, through his lawyers, Alaka and Company Advocates contends that the two wards were his strongholds that should have delivered him victory in the January 14th polls.

“That the two parishes being the Applicants strongholds were traversed by the Applicant who also built robust campaign structure in the said parishes”, reads part of Ariko’s petition. 

Ariko notes in his petition that the declaration of Aloet and Opiyai being in Soroti City West deprived him of his constitutional, legal and civic right to be voted by his supporters in Aloet and Opiyai and as consequence, denied citizens of the two wards the right to choose their leaders as desired by government contrary to Article 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.

Ariko also claims that the High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter being an electoral related complaint, lacked requisite legal and statutory authority to demarcate electoral areas, didn’t take into consideration the gazette notice issued by Minister of Local Government among others.

Court has set February 24th to hear the matter in Soroti.

According to the ruling by Justice Musene, Soroti City East Division comprises eleven wards that include Akisim, Central, Kengere, Moruapesur, Kichinjaji, Camp Swahili, Madera, Pioneer, Otatai, Acetgwen, and Opuyo wards while Soroti City West Division has 14 wards including Aloet, Arapai, Nakatunya, Oderai/Majengo, Pamba, Senior Quarters, Agora, Amen A and B, Agora, Amoru, Oderai, Opiyai and Orwadai wards.