The Ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) Election Disputes Tribunal has ruled that malpractices were so widespread in the recently-concluded Mawogola North primaries that Godfrey Aine alias Sodo Kaguta could not be considered the winner of the contested poll.
“The results in the polling stations marred by violence and ferrying of voters cannot stand,” said the tribunal chaired by city lawyer, Enoch Barata.
“The tribunal was minded to order a re-election in the above affected villages but this cannot be achieved with the time left to nominations for the general election,” the tribunal said in a report to the party’s leadership.
Today marked the start of the two-day exercise of nomination of candidates for Parliamentary Elections 2021.
The nominations are conducted at the respective district/city headquarters in all the 146 districts/cities across the country, starting at 9:00am till 5:00pm on each day.
Shartis Musherure, a daughter of Foreign Affairs Minister, recently petitioned the party’s election disputes tribunal, accusing Sodo of being involved in acts of violence and ferrying people from different parts of Uganda to vote for him in Mawogola.
Sodo denied the accusations levelled against him.
In its ruling, the tribunal said it found that “the actual winner of the election cannot be established in light of the irregularities enumerated.”
“Consequently, it is the decision of the tribunal that the petition succeeds.”
It remains unclear how Central Executive Committee (CEC) will handle this matter considering the final day of nomination for MPs by the Electoral Commission is tomorrow Friday.
This means a decision has to be taken tonight on Mawogola election. The development also raises the possibility of NRM Sodo, a brother of President Museveni, being disqualified as the rightful winner of the election.
Barata said “without the proper exercise of voter franchise, the tribunal is not able to pronounce a winner of the election as indeed the vote did not. The tribunal therefore recommends the parties to the highest party organ, the Central Executive Committee for direction.”
The tribunal said evidence brought by Musherure to prove the allegations of ferrying of voters, violence and intimidation by Sodo or his supporters is persuasive
“The video that shows the NRM village chairperson of Market Cell, a one Godfrey Mugisa being manhandled while he verified eligible voters is proof of violence having affected the proceedings at the station,” said Barata.
“While none of the persons in the video was Sodo, we find the evidence persuasive that the election was marred by violence. It is not proved however that these actions were sanctioned by Sodo or his agents or even known to him but be that as it may, if affected the election.”
On issue of ferrying voters, Musherure was only able to give evidence of three persons allegedly ferried from Kazo and Kampala and voting at a single polling station.