RUKUNGIRI/KABALE – The candidate of the ruling NRM party in the recently concluded Rukungiri District Woman Parliamentary by-election, Winnie Masiko, has run to the High Court, seeking nullification of the election victory of FDC’s Betty Muzanira over allegations of rigging and other irregularities.
In her petition filed at Kabale High Court on July 9th through her lawyers of Karuhanga, Tabaro and Associates, Masiko says the May 31 election was marred by acts of violence, intimidation and voter bribery, all perpetuated by the FDC candidate. She blames the Electoral Commission for the irregularities.
“The electoral commission failed to conduct the elections in accordance with the provisions and principals laid down by the electoral laws which affected the outcome in a substantial manner. The first respondent (Ms Betty Bamukwatsa) in turn engaged in acts of voter bribery, intimidation, sectarianism, defacement of campaign posters and defamation all calculated to gain unfair advantage over the petitioner (Ms Komuhangi Masiko), ” the petition reads in part.
Masiko claims that the arrest of Muzanira’s agents during the elections such as Buhweju Member of Parliament Francis Mwijukye and the former Member of Parliament for Rwampara Vincent Kyamadidi are a clear testimony of electoral violence.
She adds that Muzanira’s agents that included the member of parliament for Kawempe Division Munyagwa , the former FDC party president Rtd Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, Rukungiri Municipal mayor Mr Charles Makuru and the FDC party president Mr Amuriat Oboi among others were engaged in wide spread voter intimidation and violence of voters at several polling stations on the polling day.
As a result, she wants court to order for fresh elections, claiming that the electoral process was marred with several irregularities and electoral malpractices.
Masiko also asked court to ban Ms Bamukwatsa from contesting or participating in any other political elections for seven years because of her alleged misconduct. She also asked for costs of the suit and any other relief the high court deems fit.
Court has not set the date for the hearing of the case.
Muzanira was declared winner of the by-election after getting 50,611 votes while Masiko got about 46,000 votes.