Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has lined up three law firms to defend her re-election as Kamuli District Woman Member of parliament. Kadaga’s re-election is being challenged by her rival, Salaam Proscovia Musumba, the Forum for Democratic Change Vice President.
As a result, Kadaga has instructed Alaka and Company Advocates, Ochieng Associated Advocates, Mugisha and Company Advocates to defend her victory. “Salaam Musumba Proscovia …Petitioner Versus Kadaga Rebecca, Electoral Commission … Respondents. This is to instruct you to represent me in the above matter” reads Kadaga’s March 26th, 2021 letter to each of the law firms.
On March 17 2021, Musumba through Isabirye and Company Advocates petitioned Jinja High Court to overturn Kadaga’s victory on grounds that the Electoral Commission declared her winner of the Kamuli Woman parliamentary polls illegally since the election was not free and fair.
According to the official results, Kadaga, who ran on the National Resistance Movement party ticket, polled 92,840 votes ahead of Musumba who garnered 26,909. The National Unity Platform-NUP candidate, Bridget Babirye came last with 10,787 votes.
However, Musumba says that elections didn’t conform to the electoral laws since Kadaga committed a number of electoral offences, which infringed on a number of provisions under laws governing elections in the country. According to Musumba, Kadaga influenced voters by bribing them with money, iron sheets, motor vehicles, dresses, hoes, tents, and chicken among others.
Musumba also alleges that Kadaga organized violent groups to deface her campaign posters in various places in the district and used foul language against her. She also accused the Electoral Commission, which is the second respondent to suit of reducing her results to the advantage of Kadaga.
The former Kamuli District LC V Chairperson also accused EC of bias, sponsoring malpractices at polling stations such as ballot stuffing, falsifying declaration of results forms and forcing her agents to sign declaration result forms among others. She wants the high court to nullify Kadaga’s victory and order fresh Kamuli woman MP elections.
The petition comes at a time Kadaga is seeking re-election as speaker of parliament. Once she loses the petition, she becomes ineligible to run for the post. Caleb Alaka, one of Kadaga’s lawyers, says they are well prepared to defend her victory and are already working on her defence.