Election Watch

Kalungu East vote recount called off, NUP’s Katabaazi retains election win.

This photo taken on January 26, 2021 shows election officials recounting votes for Kalungu East MP seat which Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempijja lost to NUP's Francis Katabaazi. Inset is Ssempijja and Katabaazi. The recounting was however cancelled after it was discovered that one of the ballot boxes had been tampered with. PHOTO/ GERTRUDE MUTYABA (Daily Monitor)

MASAKA, UGANDA: Court in Masaka cancelled out a vote recount exercise in Kalungu East Constituency as it was discovered that one of the ballot boxes was found to have been tampered with.

Masaka Chief Magistrate Charles Yeteise in his ruling confirmed Francis Katabaazi of the National Unity Platform (NUP) as duly Kalungu East MP-elect dismissing the petition previously filed by Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempijja on Monday.

Yeitesi, who had issued a vote recount order on Monday declined to continue with the exercise after it emerged that the seal on one of the ballot boxes delivered in court was broken.

The seal of the ballot box had been broken and neither security nor the officials involved in the exercise and transporting the ballot boxes could explain how it happened.

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It is against this background that the magistrate upheld the election results in which Katabaazi was declared winner.

Neither Mr Ssempijja nor his lawyers were ready to talk to journalists by press time.

Mr Ssempijja was however overhearing telling one of the officials that he didn’t know how the seal was broken “because the security that loaded the boxes [in the vehicle] made sure everything was fine.”

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