Minister Werikhe's Re-election Challenged in Court

3870 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Three FDC parliamentary candidates file petitions at Mbale High Court challenging the February 18th elections.

State Minister for Housing, Michael Kafabusa Werikhe, may lose his seat in parliament if a petition against his re-election succeeds.
 
Werikhe won last month’s election for the Bungokho South parliamentary seat, beating his closest rival by about 12,000 votes.
 
Martin Wanda, the Forum for Democratic Change candidate who came in second place, says there were widespread irregularities during the elections. He says they ranged from ballot box stuffing to voter bribery.
 
Wanda wants the High Court to overturn the elections and declare a fresh vote.
 
Several ballot boxes with pre-ticked papers were recently discovered at the National Agricultural Advisory Services offices in Bungokho. The discovery led to the arrest and detention of Jack Nambafu, a freelance journalist who worked as the Electoral Commission’s supervisor in the constituency.
 
Nambafu was released after a week behind bars at Mbale Central Police Station.
 
During the campaigns it was alleged that Michael Werikhe and his team distributed 10,000 shillings to everyone who attended his rally at Nauyo Primary School. The reports claimed that Forum for Democratic Change election agents who attempted to stop the bribery were assaulted.
 
These claims could not be independently verified by Uganda Radio Network.
 
Werikhe isn’t the only election winner in the Greater Mbale area facing a long court suit.
 
Gershom Sizomu the head rabbi of the Jewish community, the Abayudaya, wants Mbale High Court to nullify the election of the MP-elect of Bungokho North, Yahaya Gudoi. He says his campaign agents were chased away from polling stations on Election Day and threatened with arrest.  As a result, several pre-ticked ballot papers were smuggled in.
 
Mariam Naguddi Wambedde of the Forum for Democratic Change has also sued her rival in the February 18th elections. She accuses the winner of the Mbale Woman MP election, Connie Galiwango, of stuffing ballot boxes in Bufumbo sub-county.
 
No date has been set for the hearing of these petitions at Mbale High Court.

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