NAMUTUMBA, UGANDA: Court in Iganga has resolved to dismiss a petition seeking a vote recount in the recently concluded LC5 chairperson elections in Namutumba district.
The Iganga Chief Magistrate, Catherine Agwero, while passing judgment, said the petitioner, Michael Saire, who lost in the Namutumba elections, failed to specify in the application that he sought a vote recount.
Agwero said court had no powers to revoke the decision taken by the Electoral Commission (EC) and, therefore, dismissed the petition, saying it was baseless.
“I find no reason to order for a vote recount since it has not been specified in the application,” she said.
Agwero urged both parties to meet their own costs of the petition.
She said the plaintiff (Saire) would have notified the district registrar about the issue of seeking a vote recount before filing the application.
“It is mandatory that the petitioner pays sh600,000 as security costs to court, which was not done,” she said.
SAIRE FILES PETITION
Saire had earlier filed a petition against the EC, the district returning officer and the winner of the LC5 polls, David Mukisa, seeking a vote recount, alleging that the tallying process was marred by irregularities, such as alteration of figures on the declaration forms.
However, Agwero said the manner in which the application was done indicated that the plaintiff wanted tallying to be done again, yet court had no powers to revoke the decision taken by the EC.
Saire had also paid only sh100,000, instead of the sh600,000 as security costs to court as required by law.
CALL FOR CO-OPERATION
Mukisa’s supporters, who had jammed the court premises, jubilated after the court ruling.
Mukisa urged Saire to cooperate with him during his term in office, instead of fuelling wrangles.
He promised to improve infrastructure, as well as finding a programme to construct staff quarters in governmentaided primary schools during his term of office to provide accommodation for teachers.
SAIRE NOT CONTENTED
Saire, speaking to the media, said he was not satisfied with the ruling.
“I know there is something fishy going on, but I am not scared,” he said.
Saire, who contested as NRM flag-bearer, said he would file another petition before the High Court in Jinja.
The lead lawyer for the petitioner, Isma Sajja, slammed the magistrate over the ruling.
Sajja said he has advised his client to file another petition seeking a vote recount before the High Court in Jinja.