Minister Opendi Loses Election Petition

1407 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Judge Kawesa also observed that Opendi filed her petition on November 25th after the Electoral Commission had already completed some of the processes for the nomination.

Sarah Acheng Opendi, the incumbent Tororo Woman Member of Parliament has lost a petition she filed in court to block the nomination of her arch rival. Opendi contested in the NRM primaries for election as the Tororo Woman NRM MP candidate and lost to her rival Jacinta Ayo.
 
 
She rejected the poll results saying the elections were marred by irregularities including voter bribery, intimidation and ballot stuffing among others. Opendi petitioned the NRM Electoral Commission, which upheld the results and confirmed Ayo as the party candidate.
 
 
As a result, Opendi rushed to Mbale High court to block Ayo's nomination as the Tororo Woman NRM MP candidate. In his ruling this afternoon, the Mbale High court Judge Henry Kawesa ruled in favor of Ayo. He said court couldn't issue an interim injunction stopping Ayo's nomination because the petition has been overtaken by events.
 
 
He argued that incase the injunction was granted, it will backtrack the NRM electoral process, which has already presented Ayo as her flag bearer. He also said granting the injunction will deny NRM voters in Tororo a leader of their choice since they voted for Ayo. Justice Kawesa also observed that Opendi filed her petition on November 25th after the Electoral Commission had already completed some of the processes for the nomination.
 
He advised Opendi to appeal to a higher court in case she is dissatisfied with the ruling. Opendi, who doubles as the Minister in Charge of Primary Health Care, wasn't in court during the ruling. Her lawyer Jamil Mujirizi told URN that he will consult Opendi before they decide on their next course of action. 
Jacinta Ayo who was in court during the ruling couldn't hide her joy. Ayo said she was confident that Opendi would lose the application due to technicalities. She insists that she out rightly defeated Opendi and asked her to embrace the results and respect the decision of the NRM voters. 
Opendi had earlier on told URN that she had picked nominations to contest as an independent. The independent Electoral Commission has set December 2nd and 3rd for nomination of parliamentary candidates.