MBARARA – High court in Mbarara has set Wednesday to start hearing the election petition where FDC’s former candidate in Sheema Municipality election Virginia Plan Mugyenyi petitioned challenging the election results where Elioda Tumwesigye was declared a winner.
Justice Flavian Zaija the resident Judge while meeting the two parties in the high courtroom said that the case was supposed to start today January 7 but Justice Andrew Bashaija who will preside over the case was not present.
Tumwesigye and Virginia were all present in the courtroom but these were represented by their lawyers of Kandebe advocates and Isabirye and Co Advocates respectively.
Justice Zaija later adjourned the case to Wednesday 9th January 2019.
Virginia Plan Mugyenyi in an interview told said that she happy that her petition has finally been fixed. “we received notices that the case was to kick off today but as per Justice Zaija’s communication, we agreed that it should kick off on Wednesday, with my team we are ready and we want to ensure that whatever happened in the election does not happen again, people should be allowed to choose the leaders of their choices”Said Virginia
Elioda who doubles as the minister of science innovations and technology refused to give a comment on the matter.
It should be noted that Virginia filed her petition on 5th September last year challenging the validity of the election outcomes of Sheema Municipality which was held on 27th July 2018 arguing that it was a sham marred by bribery, violence and torture and illegal arrests of her supporters and agents.
In her petition of 22 books highlights four grounds on which they are challenging the election results and these include bribery that on 26th July 2018 Tumwesigye engaged in various illegal activities by donating and commissioning electricity poles at Rwamujojo cell in central division and kihunda cell in Kagango division in Sheema municipality which she says were acts of bribery of voters to vote for him.
The second ground is use of abusive language and making false statements by Elioda Tumwesigye.
Thirdly is assault, torture of Mugyenyi’s supporters. For the second respondents (electoral commission) the petitioner shows that the electoral commission failed to conduct elections in accordance with the law which substantially affected the results of the election.
It should be noted that Sheema Municipality on 27th July went into polls and Elioda Tumwesigye was declared the winner after he gannered 13590 votes whereas Plan Mugyenyi polled 11489 votes.
“That the total sum of the above illegalities made the election for Sheema a sham which cannot be described as free and fair under the law, that as a result of the grounds in the petition, our clients prays that this honourable court declares that the first respondent was not validly elected, that this court declares that the second respondent failed to conduct a free and fair election contrary to the electoral laws which substantially affected the results, that this honorable court declares that 1st respondent election be set aside and new election held and grants the petitioner costs of the petition.”The petition reads in part.