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Court of Appeal confirms MP Rabbi, Bishop Okabe and Kiiza

Three Justices of Court of Appeal today made three key rulings in regard to ongoing Uganda parliamentary election petitions.  They confirmed the election of  FDC’s Sizomu Gershom Rabbi, NRM’s Bishop Patrick Okabe and Ernest Kiiza.

MP Rabbi confirmed

Three Justices of Court of Appeal have confirmed the election of FDC’s Sizomu Gershom Rabbi Wambedde as the validly elected MP for Bungokho North Constituency in Mbale District.

This after they upheld the decision of Mbale High Court and dismissed the appeal of NRM’s Peter Mashete Magomu with costs, saying it lacked merit.

Mashete had accused Rabbi of not being qualified for nomination and election as Member of Parliament (MP) of Bungokho North Constituency, having presented to the Electoral Commission (EC) verification letters from UNEB instead of his O and A level Certificates that he proved were lost.

Mashete had also accused Rabbi Wambedde of contesting for a political position yet he was a cultural leader, known as” King of the Jews” in Uganda.

However Justices Steven Kavuma, Cheborion Barishaki and Paul Mugamba  didn’t agree with Mashete since Rabbi means a Teacher of Jewish Law which the MP went to school to do.

Bishop Patrick Okabe confirmed as Serere County Mp

Court of Appeal has confirmed Bishop Patrick Okabe as MP for Serere County in Soroti district.

The three justices led by Deputy Chief Justice Kavuma have unanimously overturned the decision of the High Court in  Soroti that had annulled the election of Bishop Okabe on grounds of  lack of the  requisite academic qualifications.

The judges found out that the petitioner Joseph Opio Linos had no capacity to file an election petition since he was not validly nominated as a candidate to contest in the said election nor did he accompany his petition with 500 signatures from other voters.

The justices ruled that there is evidence that  Opio’s  nomination was rejected by the  returning officer after finding out that his two nominees were not registered voters.

The Court of Appeal then ruled that in such circumstances, there was no valid petition to be considered in the High Court and therefore allowed Bishop Okabe’s appeal with costs and set aside the order for EC to conduct fresh-elections.

In September last year, The High Court in Soroti had nullified the election Okabe (NRM) on account of non-compliance with the electoral laws by the EC.  Joseph Linos Opio, who lost to Okabe in the February elections, had petitioned court challenging the election results.

He had contended that the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), flouted the law to approve the nomination of Okabe.

 

Court of Appeal confirms Bunyoro minister as Masindi Mp

State Minister for Bunyoro Affairs Ernest Kiiza has been confirmed by Court of Appeal as the validly elected MP for Masindi Municipality, and overturned a Masindi High Court decision that had declared his seat vacant.

Deputy Chief Justice Kavuma,  Barishaki and Alfonse Owiny-Dollo unanimously ruled that Kiiza’s opponent Former Information minister Kabakumba Matsiko  did not provide sufficient evidence  linking him to bribery of voters with salt, balls , jerseys and construction of wells.

The judges have therefore faulted the lower High Court judge Elizabeth Nahamya for failing to properly and independently evaluate the evidence adduced by Kabakumba and thus arriving at a wrong conclusion of cancelling Kiiza ‘s election.

The court has further ruled that Kabakumba never revealed the details and particulars of  the voters who allegedly received gifts from MP Kiiza and his agents which is the required standard to prove bribery allegations.

The High Court in Masindi had ejected Kiiza from parliament over voter bribery and ordered the electoral commission to conduct fresh elections.

This followed a petition filed by former Bujenje County MP Princess Kabakumba Labwoni Matsiko  accusing Kiiza of influencing voters by offering them gifts such as salt, sports jerseys and building wells in various areas within Masindi municipality in order to be voted as Masindi municipality Member of Parliament during the February 18, 2016 parliamentary elections.

Kabakumba had also accused the Electoral Commission of conducting the election in a negligent manner. She had further said that the election was not conducted on the principal of free and fair and there was no transparency.

However, in the turn of events the judges have also ordered  Kabakumba to pay costs of this appeal to MP Kiiza.

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