The high court has ordered a fresh tally of the primary election results for the Kayunga District NRM Woman MP Justice David Batema issued the order following a successful application by Jackeline Birungi Kobusingye challenging the declaration of her rival, Agatha Nalubwama as the winner of said primaries.
Kobusingye petitioned the court accusing Nalubwama and the NRM party of mishandling the vote tallying and general voting process. She said that the NRM Disputes Tribunal had ignored her pleas for justice, saying she didn’t present any evidence to back her claims. Kobusingye polled 33, 632 votes against 38, 562 votes garnered by Nalubwama. She rejected the poll results on grounds that minors, non-registered voters, and opposition members had participated in the primary elections.
The Tribunal ruled that non-registered voters had participated in the polls in line with a directive issued by the NRM Chairperson prior to the elections allowing all interested party members to vote even if they are not on the register provided they are known to the local leaders.
They also argued that the petitioner couldn’t prove that the disputed voters were not party members. The tribunal also acknowledged receipt of declaration forms from Kikwanya, Nakirubi, and Kangulumira central polling stations in Kangulumira Sub County among the areas where the petitioner claimed that the primary didn’t take place.
At the commencement of the court hearing, the respondents submitted that the application for judicial review was premature since she had failed the same matter before the NRM Electoral Commission, which was yet to make a decision.
Delivering his ruling on Saturday in Mukono High Court, Justice David Batema noted that the party failed to explain missing results from the eight electoral areas of Kayunga Sub County and four in Kitimbwa and Kayonza sub-counties.
“I am reluctant to refer this matter back to the NRM Elections Disputes Tribunal. Where the internal dispute resolution mechanism is biased and has abused its own procedure. Justice for the applicant is not guaranteed. In conclusion, this court allows the application for judicial review and grants the order quashing the decisions of NRM. NRM respondent must produce all the original DR forms and the tallying must be repeated in a transparent manner,” Batema ruled.
He said the high court will determine the authenticity and correctness of the DR forms presented with the help of the Mukono District National Electoral Commission registrar or any other person nominated by the party Electoral commission. He set October 12th, 2020 as the date for tallying the results at Mukono High court starting at 11 am. High Court will make the final declaration on October 14, 2020, and thereby make any other necessary orders in the interest of justice.
However, despite Kobusingye’s contentment with the ruing, Nalubwama expressed discontent with the court decision, saying the ruling is unfair to her since her rival is a relative to Kayunga District NRM Chairperson, Moses Kalangwa who has the capacity to monitor and protect the entire election process.