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Court Nullifies MP Bagala’s election in Mityana, orders fresh elections

MUBENDE, UGANDA: The High Court in Mubende has nullified the victory of National Unity Platform’s (NUP) Joyce Bagala Ntwatwa as the duly elected Mityana District Woman Member of Parliament.

The court sitting on Friday morning ruled in favour of the election petition filed by Bagala’s contender and Lands Minister Hon Judith Nabakooba of the ruling National Resistance Movement.

IN the January 14 elections early this year, Joyce Bagala running on the NUP ticket garnered 64,633 votes against Nabakooba’s 48,322 votes to be declared winner of the Mityana Woman MP seat.

However, in her petition filed in March this year, Nabakooba accused Bagala of conniving with the Electoral Commission (EC) to carry out a number of election malpractices including procuring prohibited persons to vote, impersonation, and multi voting.

While she said she had trust in the Electoral Commission, she said she didn’t concur or have trust in the results in which Bagala was declared the winner.

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“Some of my agents were intimidated and when it was brought to my attention, I reported to the Police Commander in the region but I was not helped,” she said.

While giving his ruling on Friday, Mubende High Court Judge, Justice Emmanuel Baguma ruled that there was enough evidence to prove that the Bagala through her agents, with her knowledge and consent or approval, committed the electoral offence of bribery.

“Court, therefore, makes the following orders that the election of the second respondent (Bagala) as Woman Member of Parliament for Mityana District Constituency is set aside,” Justice Baguma ruled.
The judge also ordered for a by-election to be held in Mityana District Constituency for the Woman Member of Parliament. “The Petitioner (Nabakooba) is awarded the costs of this petition,” the judge added.

The opposition National Unity Platform party (NUP) rushed to Twitter shortly after the ruling and acknowledged the court ruling expressing the urge to support their candidate at all times should fresh elections be held.

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“Court has nullified the election of Hon. Joyce Balaga as the Woman MP for Mityana District following an election petition by Judith Nabakooba,” a brief statement on NUP’s official Twitter account.

The former NBS TV Journalist, Mrs. Bagala however said that she is going to appeal the decision to the higher court.

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