Court to rule on Kampala Central MP seat vote recount application today

Muhammad Nsereko
Muhammad Nsereko at Mengo Chief Magistrates Court

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Mengo Chief Magistrates Court will today Thursday 28, January 2021 rule on an application seeking for a vote recount for the Kampala Central Parliamentary seat.

Fred Nyanzi who was contesting on the National Unity Platform [NUP] ticket petitioned the court seeking vote recounting after citing several irregularities in the declaration of result forms.

Nyanzi who garnered 15,975 votes was defeated by the incumbent and independent candidate Mohammad Nsereko who got 16,998 votes. National Resistance Movement’s [NRM] Babu Cedric Ndilima got 10,746 votes and Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] candidate Harold Kaija got 1,679 votes in the race of four.

On Wednesday 27th, Nyanzi’s lawyers led by Anthony Wameli told the court presided over by Esther Nansambu that the voting process and counting of the votes were marred by malpractices and irregularities committed by both the Electoral Commission [EC] officials and Nsereko’s agents.

Court heard that some of the presiding officers denied Nyanzi’s agents access to 53 voting areas such as Summit View, Nakasero 1 and 2, Hoima Flats among others.

Court also further heard that the declaration forms were never signed by Nyanzi’s agents because they had been blocked.

However, Nsereko’s lawyers, Saudah Nsereko and Bernard Semuyaba argued that the application is full of falsehoods.

Semuyaba said Nyanzi didn’t have documented evidence and that the Declaration forms for results had been signed by his agents, which according to Semuyaba disputes Nyanzi’s testimony that his agents had been chased from the polling stations.

Court also heard that the allegations of connivance, forgery and malpractice are matters that can only be raised before the High Court and therefore the Magistrates Court lacks jurisdictions over the same.

The Electoral Commission [EC] through their lawyer Hamidu Lugoloobi told the court that the alleged errors resulted from fatigue. However, he added that this couldn’t in any way affect the actual number of votes obtained by each candidate.

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Lugoloobi based his submissions on an affidavit filed by the Kampala Central Returning Officer Doreen Musiime.

He also told the court that Nyanzi had not informed the Commission that he would seek recounting of votes in seven days as the law stipulates such that the ballots are not transferred from the tally centers.