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Witnesses Attached Mismatching Support Documents in Mukono Election Petition :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Witnesses Attached Mismatching Support Documents in Mukono Election Petition

In the petition, Wilson Male, a candidate for the National Unity Platform accused Kayondo of voter bribery and using the National Unity Platform-NUP symbol and slogans on his campaign posters despite contesting a Democratic Party candidate in the January 2021 polls. Male says that this act did not only confuse voters but also affected the outcome of the polls.
The two witnesses, Florence Nakuya and Ronald Mugagga.

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The two witnesses who swore affidavits in response to a petition challenging the victory of Mukono South Member of Parliament Fred Kayondo attached mismatching documents to their affidavits.

The two; Florence Nakuya and Ronald Mugagga failed to defend the mistakes on the documents attached to their affidavits when they appeared before Justice Collins Acellam at Mukono High Court for cross-examination on Tuesday

In the petition, Wilson Male, a candidate for the National Unity Platform accused Kayondo of voter bribery and using the National Unity Platform-NUP symbol and slogans on his campaign posters despite contesting a Democratic Party candidate in the January 2021 polls. Male says that this act did not only confuse voters but also affected the outcome of the polls.

Male cites one incident where Kayondo bribed voters at the funeral of Baziliyo Muwawule, an accusation against which the deceased's son Ronald Mugagga, swore an affidavit challenging the allegation. However, Mugagga did not attach any documentary evidence to convince the court that he is the son of the late Muwawule.

There was also a mismatch in the dates indicated in the affidavit with the dates that appeared on the death certificate and two different spellings of the deceased's name on the two documents.

In the affidavit, Mugagga indicated that his father was buried on November 12, 2020, yet the death certificate indicates November 14 and refers to the father as Baziliyo with an initial ‘y’ yet the death certificate has the name written as Bazilio without ‘y’ and did not attach documentary evidence explaining the difference in names.

Also, Mugagga indicated in the affidavit that his father was buried close to his late mother Nusiata Ruth Bangi. Although he attached Bnagi's death certificate, he did not have any documentary evidence about their relationship.

Another witness, Florence Nakuya signed a form seconding the nomination of Fred Kayondo with a signature that was different from the one indicated on her National Identity Card. Besides, her ID shows that she is a resident of Bugabira Village in Masaka District but did not have evidence to show how she transferred to become a voter in Katosi central, Mukono District.

The petitioner’s Lawyer Musa Nakueira told the court that Nakuya is not a registered voter in Mukono since she did not attach a Voter Location Slip or an extract of the voter register for her voter number to be identified.

//Cue in; “He has no…

Cue out: …indeed his parents”//

During re-examination, the respondent’s lawyer Erias Luyimbaazi Nalukoola asked Nakuya to tell the court why her ID bears residence of Masaka and she noted that by the time she applied for an ID, she was staying in Masaka. Nalukoola told URN after the court session that the petitioner is just creating uncertainties which will be interpreted by the court.

//Cue in; “Are we concerned…

Cue out…we shall celebrate.’//

Justice Acellam adjourned the session to Wednesday for cross-examination of Electoral Commission witnesses.

In July last year, a panel of three Court of Appeal justices comprising Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera, Catherine Bamugemereire, and Irene Mulyagonja ordered the retrial of Male’s petition that Justice Olive Kazaarwe Mukwaya had dismissed on technical grounds.

Both Kayondo and the Electoral Commission asked the High Court to dismiss the petition on grounds that the Commissioner of Oaths who had commissioned Male’s affidavits did not have a valid practising certificate at that time. Accordingly, Justice Olive Kazaarwe dismissed the petition without hearing its merits.

As a result, Male appealed against the decision, saying the judge erred in law and fact when she held that his petition was incompetent and incurably defective. Kazaarwe was also faulted for having underlooked and condoned Kayondo’s defective pleadings and failure to consider Male’s submissions.

The Court of Appeal Justices agreed that the Judge erred when she dismissed Male’s petition for having defective affidavits yet she allowed the same from Kayondo and the Electoral Commission. Kayondo polled 26,512 votes in the race which attracted six candidates, while Male, the challenger from the National Unity Platform obtained 4,831 votes to secure the third position in the race.    

                          

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