Court has nullified the election of Joyce Bagala Ntwantwa as the elected Woman representative in Parliament for Mityana District.
The ruling follows an election petition filed by Nabakooba Judith Nalule, the Minister of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, who came second in the election but challenged the outcome and dragged Bagala and the Electoral Commission to court citing irregularities.
In the ruling delivered on Friday, Justice Emmanuel Baguma ruled that there is enough evidence to prove that Bagala through her Agents, with her knowledge and consent or approval committed the electoral offence of bribery, and ordered for a byelection for Mityana District Constituency as well as costs to the petitioner.
In the Petition, Nabakooba states that the election was invalid on grounds that it was not conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda 1995, the Parliamentary Elections Act 2005 and Electoral Commission Act Cap 140, and that the non-compliance affected the results in a substantial manner.
Nabakooba further contends that offences and illegal practices under the Parliamentary Elections Act 2005 were committed by the 2nd Respondent (Bagala Joyce Ntwatwa) personally or with her knowledge and consent or approval.
The petitioner raised four grounds related to allegations of undue influence/intimidation, voter bribery several of which provide basis for the court ruling.
“In conclusion, court finds that on a balance of probabilities the Petitioner has adduced sufficient evidence to prove that the 2nd Respondent through her agents, with her knowledge or consent and approval committed the alleged Electoral Offence of bribery.” Justice Baguma ruled;
“Upon finding that there is enough evidence in this petition to prove that the 2nd
Respondent through her Agents, with her knowledge and consent or approval
committed the electoral offence of bribery and court makes the following Orders;
a) The election of the 2nd 965 Respondent as Woman Member of Parliament for Mityana District Constituency is set aside.
b) A by election is ordered to be held in Mityana District Constituency for the Woman Member of Parliament.
c) The Petitioner is awarded the costs of this Petition. I so order”
Nabakooba Judith Nalule, Bagala Joyce Ntwatwa and a one Nabalisa Brenda contested for elections for Woman Member of Parliament for Mityana District which were held on the 14th 15 January 2021. Bagala polled 64,633 votes, Nabakooba polled 48,322 votes and Nabalisa Brenda polled 1,515 votes.