Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The loser in the Entebbe Municipality Mayoral elections has petitioned the High Court in Kampala seeking to overturn the victory of Fabrice Brad Rulinda.
In his petition before the Civil Division, the petitioner Vincent De Paul Kayanja says that the elections conducted on January 25th 2021 were not held in conformity with the law.
According to the Electoral Commission, Rulinda an Independent Candidate was declared the winner with 6,703 votes, followed by National Resistance Movement candidate Michael Mutebi Kabwama Nyamayalwo with 6,342 votes and Kayanja 5,576 votes.
Others in the race included National Unity Platform party candidate Olive Nassuna who scored 2,499 votes, another Independent Candidate Muhammad Kawuma got 521 votes, and Alliance for National Transformation Candidate Kenneth Simbwa got 13 votes whereas Gerald Muwonge came last with 13 votes.
However, Kayanja contends that he was not happy with the results because there was falsification of results in 74 polling stations which he names in his petition.
For instance, Kayanja says that at Bugonga Boys Primary School A to J polling station, Rulinda obtained 30 votes but on the official declaration of result forms that was duly endorsed by the presiding officer and signed by all agents of the candidates, the Returning Officer made an inflated entry, declared and tallied 300 votes for Rulinda.
He adds that at Lunyo East polling station A to KAS, 20 votes were announced but the declaration of result form shows that the Returning Officer inflated the entry, declared and tallied 578 votes for Rulinda.
“At Entebbe Comprehensive (SSEN-Z) polling Station, the first respondent (Rulinda) polled 53 votes which were declared at the polling station and on the declaration of result forms duly endorsed by the Presiding officer and signed by all the agents of the candidates but the Returning Officer of the second respondent (Electoral Commission) made an inflated entry, declared and tallied 501 votes for the first respondent”, reads the petition in part.
According to Rulinda, the returning officer and other officials at Wakiso District Tally Center also refused to use the electronic display system as required by law to enable transparent tallying of results thereby denying him and his agents an opportunity to match results that were being entered for declaration by the Returning Officer.
“That upon complaining to the District Returning Officer for him to display the results being entered for declaration, he instructed security officers to restrain me or else I was to be pushed out of the tally centre for disruption of the tallying exercise”, adds the petition.
Evidence before the court shows that when Kayanja protested the alleged continued declaration of false results, the military and police re-enforced their presence, surrounded him together with his agent and forcefully evacuated them from the tally centre.
Through his lawyers of Alaka and Company Advocates and Kizito, Lumu and Company Advocates, Kayanja now wants the court to set aside the victory of Rulinda and declare him the legitimate winner of the hotly contested race.
Kayanja also wants the court to declare that Rulinda was not validly elected and pay him the costs of the petition.
Since election petitions are handled with urgency, the Civil Division Registrar Jamson Karemani has already issued summons to Electoral Commission and Rulinda who are the only respondents to the petition to file their defence within 10 days before the matter can be fixed for hearing.
Various High Court circuits in the country started receiving Election Petitions arising from the Local Council elections after the Uganda gazette of winners came out on April 22 2021.
These petitions will now add onto the 104 cases filed against the gazetted Members of Parliament which are also not yet fixed for hearing due to the delay by the Ministry of Finance to release funds for this quarter of the financial year.