High Court in Mbarara has cleared Sheema Municipality MP Dr Elioda Tumwesigye and dismissed an election petition filed by Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate Virginia Plan Mugyenyi.
Mugyenyi challenged the Science and Technology minister’s 2018 election victory citing voter bribery, voter intimidation and failure by the electoral commission to organise a free and fair election.
In a judgment read by Mbarara resident judge Joyce Kavuma on behalf of Judge Andrew Bashaija Thursday, Mugyenyi was ordered to pay the legal costs.
The judge said the petitioner [Mugyenyi] failed to prove all the allegations she made against the first and second respondent respectively.
The few instances of error, omissions and lapses in the conduct of the election as a whole by the second respondent (electoral Commission) could not affect the results of the election in a substantial manner, the judge ruled.
“The petition failed in its entirety and it’s dismissed with costs to the first and second respondent respectively.”
Judge Bashaija further faulted Mugyenyi for voting for herself at Migina Polling Station yet she was not a registered voter in Sheema Municipality.
He said there was no evidence pinning Dr Elioda on the alleged electoral crimes and the electoral commission failing to do its duty.
Mugyenyi vows to fight
Mugyenyi in response to the court ruling said she will now petition the Court of Appeal.
“Justice was delayed and as you may be aware, justice delayed is justice denied. I cannot give up until I hear from the three judges of the Court of Appeal,” she told journalists outside court.
Mugyenyi said she was prepared for such an outcome.
She said the judgment was supposed to be delivered on February 18 but was deferred to today (February 28).
“We shall appeal against this in a higher court. And this will also be put into the court of people’s government come 2021.”