Mubende High Court has nullified the election of Joyce Bagala as Mityana District Woman MP.
Justice Baguma ruled in favour of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Minister Judith Nabakooba who lost the January 14 parliamentary election.
According to results released by the Electoral Commission (EC), through Mityana District Returning officer Stephen Makubuya, Bagala of the National Unity Platform (NUP) garnered 64,305 votes, Nabakooba of the NRM 48,078 votes and Brenda Nabaliisa 1,509 votes.
In her petition, Minister Nabakooba argued that the EC had connived with Bagala’s NUP camp to change declaration of results forms, issue pre-ticked ballot papers in favour of Bagala, intimidate NRM voters and orchestrate multiple voting that worked well for the opposition.
Bagala denied all the allegations, claimed she had resisted calls by her agents to bribe voters and that she believed the election was free and fair.
Returning officer Makubuya told court that polling agents had erred by signing declaration of results forms before closure of voting at some of the polling stations.
In his ruling, Justice Baguma agreed with petitioner that indeed the EC and NUP’s Bagala had engaged in acts of electoral malpractice, including multiple voting and bribing of voters.
Justice Baguma listed some polling stations where there was widespread electoral malpractice as: King Faisal (ND-Z), Kiyinda A (A-M), Kiganwa Primary School, Kawoko Playground, Mityana A Kanamba, Busimbi Gombolola area (A-Nak), Nandegejja, Primary School, Comprehensive SS Campus, Kiyinda B (Nak-Z), Busimbi Railway (A-M) and Busimbi/Kasimbi (A-M).
In the end, court set aside Bagala’s election and directed the EC to conduct a by-election for the Mityana District Woman MP.
Baguma also awarded the petitioner (Nabakooba) the costs of the petition.
Although, as expected, Nabakooba welcomed the ruling, Bagala swore to challenge the same in the Court of Appeal.