By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
KAMPALA: Court of Appeal has upheld the victory of National Unity Platform (NUP)’s Joyce Bagala as the validly elected Woman Member of Parliament for Mityana District.
Three Justices of the appellate court led by Geofrey Kiryabwire set aside the Mubende High Court decision that had nullified Bagala’s victory on grounds that there was noncompliance with the electoral laws.
Bagala’s victory had been challenged by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidate who doubles as lands minister, Ms Judith Nabakooba who had accused Bagala of having engaged in various electoral malpractices, including voter bribery and the use of soldiers to intimidate voters.
However, the Court of Appeal ruled that Ms Nabakooba failed to adduce evidence to prove the said allegations, noting that even if there was noncompliance with the electoral laws, it was not sufficient enough to affect the election results in a substantive manner.
During hearing of the case, MP Bagala had maitaned that she will reclaim her seat because the election was conducted in compliance with the electoral laws.
She further disputed allegations by the minister of voter bribery, stating that even if there were any aspects of noncompliance with the electoral laws, they were not sufficient enough to warrant a nullification of her victory.
Ms Bagala contended that the said election was free and fair, and that if there was any non-compliance it didn’t warrant cancellation of the result, especially when there’s no evidence that the people who allegedly bribed voters were her agents.
She then asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the lower court’s decision and uphold her victory.
The appellate court ordered both parties to bear costs for the suit.