The Electoral Commission (EC) has disqualified two candidates in the race for the Bududa District Woman Member of Parliament (MP) seat over discrepancies in names on their academic certificates.
In a November 24 letter, the EC chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama, said the poll deeds of the two candidates, Ms Agnes Khainza Shiuma and Ms Esther Wetsetse Lois, which were intended to legitimate their names, were published after their nomination, something that is against the law.
“In light of the foregoing observations, it is the commission’s findings that at the time of the nomination, both Khainza Shiuma and Wetsetse Esther Lois did not present the copy of the gazette in which the notice of change of particulars was published in compliance with Section 36 of the Registration of Persons Act, 2015,” the letter reads in part.
The letter adds: “Accordingly, the commission under MIN.COMM.COMP.332/2020, resolved to reverse the returning officer’s decision nominating Khainza Shiuma and Wetsetse Esther Lois.”
This follows a petition filed by the incumbent MP and NRM flag bearer, Ms Justine Khainza, accusing the duo of having been illegally nominated.
Mr Ronald Nsereko, the Bududa District returning officer, confirmed the development, adding that he has given the affected candidates copies of the letters regarding their disqualification from the race.
“It is true the two candidates have been disqualified and they will not be position to appear ballot come 2021 elections,” he said on Wednesday.
This means the race will be between, the incumbent, Ms Khainza and Ms Agnes Nandutu, a journalist, who formerly worked with NTV Uganda.
Ms Wetsestse, one of the disqualified candidates, said she was shocked by the EC letter.
“I am travelling to Kampala to ask why the EC had to take such decision yet I was successfully nominated,” she said.
Efforts to get a comment from Ms Shiuma were futile, as she would not pick our repeated calls.