The Former Agule County Member of Parliament, David Ochwa returned to the Court of Appeal on Monday for the second time insisting that his rival Polycarp Ogwari was illegally declared the winner of the parliamentary seat three years ago. In 2021, the Electoral Commission declared Ogwari, an independent National Resistance Movement-NRM party-leaning candidate as the winner of the Agule parliamentary seat with 7,190 votes. Ochwa, who ran on the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party ticket came second with 6,908 votes.
Dissatisfied with the results, Ochwa unsuccessfully petitioned Mbale High Court on the grounds that the election was held amidst incidences of bribery and voter intimidation. He also argued that his rival was not eligible for nomination to run as a legislator since he didn’t have the requisite academic qualifications. He asked the Court of Appeal to confirm him as the duly elected member of parliament order a bye-election.
This case first went to Mbale High Court but then Justice Andrew Bashaija dismissed the petition. In April 2022, the Court of Appeal ruled in Ochwa’s favor and ordered the matter before a different Judge of the High Court. On December 15th, 2022, Justice Moses Kazibwe nullified Ogwari’s victory hence the appeal.
Ochwa wants the appeal struck out with costs for lack of merit since it was filed out of the stipulated time frame within, which to file election disputes. The panel of three Court of Appeal Justices comprising Justice Fredrick Egonda-Ntende, Eva Luswata, and Oscar Kihika has promised to deliver judgment on notice after hearing from both parties