Mukono High Court on Monday evening rejected eight witnesses and four supplementary affidavits in the second election petition filed challenging the victory of Idah Erios Nantaba as the Kayunga District Woman Member of Parliament.
The presiding judge Justice Olive Kazaare Mukwaya disallowed the witnesses’ affidavits during the hearing of a case filed by Harriet Nakwede, 44, one of the three applicants challenging Nantaba’s victory. The first application was filed by Jackline Birungi and the third one by Rittah Nabadda, a concerned citizen.
Lady Justice Mukwaya rejected the witnesses after Nantaba’s Lawyer Ambrose Tibyasa cross examined the petitioner who confirmed before court that all the affidavits and supplementary affidavits presented lacked credible evidence to support her claims in the petition.
The rejected witnesses were present and these included; Benedicto Kyobe, Rogers Lubowa, Isma Mugabe, Elizabeth Nalwoza, Experito Musoke, Umar Kabenge, Abel Kato and Hussein. The four supplementary affidavits included that of Eric Wanyama, Yahaya Kalyango, Hussein Mukwaya and Ben Moses Ojambo.
During the cross examination, the petitioner confirmed that her witnesses’ affidavits were disjointed to the petition since they did not support any part of the petition and lacked supporting evidence.
All the witnesses did not attach national identity cards either; they indicated their polling stations. According to Tibyasa, nothing could confirm that they are existing human beings or registered voters in Kayunga districts.
They also indicated in the affidavits that the respondent falsified results, influencing the electoral commission to read results in her favour on top of deploying military around the tally center.
But when Tibyasa asked Nakwede whether all the claims could have gained extra votes to Nantaba lowering hers in the final tally she said no.
In the petition, Nakwede indicated that at some polling stations votes were less than the number of voters citing Light collage SS polling station where votes were less by 33 voters. And at other polling stations votes were higher than the actual number of voters.
During the cross examination, Nakwede’s lawyer Stephen Muzuusa helped her to demonstrate the validity of the claim which showed that at the identified polling stations in the petition, issued ballot papers did not match the number of voters who turned up for election.
However, Nakwede agreed with Tibyasa that votes gained by each candidate as indicated on DR forms and Tally sheet matched. To the contrary, the respondent’s Lawyer Tibyasa that instead her client’s votes were changed in favour of the petitioner.
Tibyasa demonstrated before court change of results at Nazigo RC A-M where on the DR form, Nakwede gained 148 votes but on the tally sheet 448 was entered where 33 votes for Nantaba did not change.
Tibyasa also demonstrated that at Nakitoma TC A-M Birungi, the first petitioner against Nantaba gained 86 votes but later the Returning Officer realized that 186 votes were instead superimposed on the DR form before rejecting it.The 132 for Nantaba and 19 for Nakwede did not change on both the DR form and the tally sheet.
According to Tibyasa it would be the respondent accusing the petitioners for falsifying results in their favour.
In the petition, Nakwede also accuses the electoral commission for being irregular and conducting the exercise in an unlawful manner. She accuses them for declaring Nantaba winner despite withdrawing from the race on the election day after police stopped 17 buses full of voters entering the district.
However, before court, she failed to present evidence that these were truly voters or supporters of Nantaba and their intention of coming to the district. She also failed to provide evidence indicating irregularities committed by EC.
The petitioner’ s lawyer Muzuusa prayed for adjournment so as to get enough time of cross examining Nantaba together with the Kayunga RO Rashid Musinguzi.
Lady Justice Mukwaya adjourned the court to August 30 for further hearing. On the same date hearing of the third petition against Nataba failed by Ritta Nabadda is also starting.