Kalungu Residents Protest Delayed Poll Petition Ruling

1543 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
The former chairman of Kalungu district Emmanuel Musoke petitioned court seeking to nullify the outcome of the February 2016 local government elections, on grounds that the declaration was erroneous.

Residents of Kalungu have staged a protest at Masaka High Court over the delayed delivery of a ruling in relation to a petition challenging the election of Richard Kyabaggu, as the district chairperson.

The former district chairman Emmanuel Musoke petitioned court seeking to nullify the outcome of the February 2016 local government elections, on grounds that the declaration was erroneous.  Musoke faults the Electoral Commission for declaring his opponent as the dully elected chairman even when results suggested otherwise.

He accuses the Electoral Commission disregarded the official Declaration forms to deny him victory.

Hearing of the election petition closed last month and Friday August 5, set as the initial date for the ruling. The ruling flopped and adjourned to today Monday August 8. 

But again High Court Judge Lawrence Gidudu said he would not able to deliver the ruling in person because he is on leave. He however sent a copy of the same through police to Masaka High Court Registrar Baker Rwatooro.

A police officer Joseph Kalebo handed the copy to Masaka High Court authorities to be read out. He said he had instructions from Justice Gidudu not to leave the courtroom until the ruling is read out. However, nothing had been done by 3.30pm.

The delay sparked off protests from rival supporters who stormed the Masaka High Court registry demanding for explanations for the delay.

Led by MP Joseph Ssewungu, the Kalungu West Member of Parliament, the residents shouted anti-corruption songs against Masaka High Court officials saying they had received several complaints accusing them of corruption.

At the time of filing this report, Maxwell Ogwal, the South Buganda Regional Police Commander was persuading the charged residents to calm down.

A court clerk who refused to identify himself told residents that the judges were away launching a community sensitization drive but their ruling will be given as soon as they return.


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.