Court throws out petition against Entebbe Mayor Fabrice Rulinda

Entebbe Municipality Mayor Fabrice Brad Rulinda

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The High Court in Kampala has dismissed with costs an election petition filed against the Entebbe Municipality Mayor Fabrice Brad Rulinda.

Rulinda an Independent Candidate was declared the winner in Entebbe municipality with 6,703 votes while Vicent De Paul Kayanja of the Democratic Party came second with 5,576 votes. Kayanja then filed the petition challenging his rival’s victory alleging that there was falsification of results in 74 polling stations. 

Kayanja in his election petition alleged that at  Lunyo East polling station A to KAS, 20 votes were allegedly announced but the declaration of result form shows that the Returning Officer inflated the entry, declared and tallied 578 votes for Rulinda among many other polling stations.

Kayanja also alleged that the elections were marred with violence and that the Returning Officer and other officials at Wakiso District Tally Center also refused to use electronic display system as required by law to enable transparent tallying of results; thereby denying him and his agents an opportunity to match results that were being entered for the declaration by the Returning Officer.

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Kayanja asked the court to overturn the victory of Rulinda and declare him the legitimate winner of the hotly contested race.

However, when the case came up for hearing last week, Rulinda’s lawyers led by Mugerwa Ssali and the Electoral Commission through its head of Litigation Eric Sabiiti raised a preliminary objection asking the court to dismiss the case for being incompetent.

Ssali and Sabiiti told the court that Kayanja presented before court declaration forms which were not certified copies obtained from the Electoral Commission to support his petition as required under the law. Court also heard that the affidavit supporting Kayanja’ petition was not disclosing the source of information and as such, the evidence in it was based on hearsays.

The duo further told the court that the statement on the affidavit was not done in line with the law because it was detached from the main body of the evidence and therefore the evidence could be manipulated.

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Justice Isaac Muwata agreed with Rulinda and Electoral Commission’s lawyers and accordingly dismissed the petition with costs.

However, immediately after reading his ruling, Kayanja’s lawyer informed the Judge that he had instructions to appeal against his decision.

But the Electoral Commission lawyer Eric Sabiiti has welcomed the court decision saying that the petition lacked merit.

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