Kalungu LC V Election Petition: Judge Orders EC to Present Ballot Boxes

2970 Views Kalungu, Uganda

In short
Justice Lawrence Gidudu ordered Jacqueline Mburamuhindo, the Kalungu District Returning Officer to deliver the ballot boxes from four contested polling stations in the LC V polls to court this morning for verification.

Justice Lawrence Gidudu has ordered the Kalungu District Returning Officer, Jacqueline Mburamuhindo to present to court ballot boxes from four polling stations in the disputed Kalungu LC V polls. Gidudu is currently hearing a petition filed by Emmanuel Musoke, the former Kalungu LC V chairperson challenging the election of his rival, Richard Kyabaggu.

Musoke petitioned court after Mburamuhindo declared elected with 12, 920 votes against his 12581 votes. He rejected the poll results claiming that after tallying the results from all the 159 polling stations in Kalungu district, he got 12,776 votes as opposed to Kyabaggu's 12,565 votes. In his petition, Musoke contends that the polls were not conducted in a transparent manner and that results from several polling stations were altered to favor his rival. 
On Tuesday, Musoke's lawyer, Megard Lubega Ssegona grilled Mburamuhindo during her cross examination to explain why there were discrepancies between the results declaration forms and tally sheets. He also tasked Mburamuhindo to explain the serial numbers on the results declaration forms from the disputed polling stations were not matching. 

Ssegona demonstrated to court how results from several polling stations were altered to favor his client's rival. He cited the example of Namasavu polling stations where Kyabaggu got 103 votes as opposed to Musoke's 71 votes but on the tally Kyabaggu was given 304 votes. At Katera polling station, Kyabaggu polled 117 votes compared to Musoke's 90 votes as per the declaration forms but on the tally sheet, Kyabaggu had 117 votes but Musoke only 1 vote. 

He also showed court some of the mismatched serial numbers for example Bukalasa, which had serial number 0001745. When asked to show court declaration form with that serial number, Mburamuhindo couldn't account for it, saying she didn't know why it can't be found. As a result of the discrepancies, Justice Lawrence Gidudu ordered Mburamuhindo to deliver the ballot boxes from four contested polling station to court this morning for verification.

They include Namasavu A, Yesu Akwagala, Bugomola trading Center A and Kalumaga - Kitawuluzi polling stations. He directed both the petitioner and respondents to ensure their presence at the Electoral Commission offices so that the ballot boxes are not tampered with. Hearing is expected to resume this morning with the cross examination of the winner of the Kalungu LC V chairperson seat, Richard Kyabaggu.


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.