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Mbale High Court halts Busia LCV Chairperson gazette

DP President Mao
Mbale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Mbale High Court has halted the gazette and swearing in of the Geoffrey Wandera, an independent candidate who was declared unopposed in the Busia District leadership race.

Wandera was declared a winner after his two opponents, Crispus Bwire and Tony Ojambo stepped down; days after the Electoral Commission nullified the candidature of the two main contenders, Deo Hasubi Njoki, a joint opposition candidate and Paul Boniface Oguttu, of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.

Boniface Oguttu was disqualified for presenting nomination papers bearing names that contradict details on his academic transcripts, while Njoki has been disqualified for not being a registered voter under the National Voters Register. The decisions were based on two separate petitions lodged by DP and NRM party, contesting the candidature of their rivals.

But Njoki filed an application for an injunction restraining the Electoral commission from continuing with the process. The application, filed before the high court in Mbale, also sought for an order stopping the EC from gazetting Wandera as the duly elected chairman of Busia District, until the determination of his main application.

On the basis of his application, the Mbale High Court Deputy Registrar Lillian Mwandha issued an order restraining the Electoral Commission against administering the oath for the newly declared candidate.

Yusuf Mutembuli, the lawyer of the applicant said that the court took the decision of declaring the winner in bad faith since his client was disqualified on Friday evening and was left with no room for appealing.

Mutembuli said Njoki availed the Electoral commission with all the documents that showed that he was a registered voter but went ahead to disqualify him.

Deo Njoki the applicant said that it was incumbent upon the Electoral Commission to update their data since National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) wrote to them about his fate as a registered voter.

The Busia District Chairman’s Seat fell vacant in May 2018 when the court of appeal nullified the election of Ouma Adea on grounds that he had been convicted of corruption in 2013. The by-election was due to take place on November 28, 2018.

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