MP Muhumuza Wins Election Petition

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In short
The Court of Appeal has dismissed an election petition seeking to overturn the victory of David Muhumuza as the duly elected Member of Parliament for Mwenge North County in Kyenjojo district.

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an election petition seeking to overturn the victory of David Muhumuza as the duly elected Member of Parliament for Mwenge North County in Kyenjojo district.

The petition was filed by Col. Tom Butime, a Luweero bush war veteran and former minister who lost the Mwenge North parliamentary seat to Muhumuza in the 2011 elections.

Butime had petitioned court on grounds that Muhumuza did not possess the requisite academic qualifications to stand as MP among others.Col Butime had particularly accused the legislator of not having gone through primary education.

The case was dismissed by the High Court in Fort Portal but Butime appealed. In his July 7, 2011 ruling, Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama noted that Muhumuza’s victory couldn’t be nullified because there is no law stopping any person from contesting for political office without a P.7 certificate.

Justice Remmy Kasule in his judgment that was seconded by two other justices including the Deputy Chief Justice Alice Mpagi-Bahigeine, held that Col. Butime did not produce evidence to prove that it was a must for one to go through primary education as an education ladder to become MP.
 
Justice Kasule noted that apart from the complaint that Muhumuza did not do primary schooling and did not obtain a primary leaving certificate, Col. Butime did not assert that the MP wrongly joined and pursued the advanced certificate of education.

The judge therefore upheld the ruling of the trial judge that the appellant failed to prove to the satisfaction of the court that the first Muhumuza at the time of his nomination did not have the minimum academic qualification and that he was not qualified to be nominated and elected as Member of Parliament. 

Justice Kasule also noted that despite the fact that Col. Butime jointly sued the Electoral Commission, he did not show cause of action against it in terms of legal test set by the Supreme Court.

Court also ordered Butime to pay costs to both the Electoral Commission and Muhumuza that they have incurred in pursuing this petition.

A visibly happy Muhumuza thanked the judiciary for the justice served moments after court reaffirmed him as the dully elected MP.

Muhumuza won the February 18, 2011 polls with 26,701 votes while Col Butime who ran as an independent after losing in the NRM party primaries, came as runner up with 23,274 votes.

 

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