KAMPALA – A tribunal set up by the ruling National Resistance Movement to look into petitions arising out of the September 4 party primaries has dismissed the Manjiya county elections and retained Mr Moses Mukhobeh as the flag bearer in the 2021 elections.
In the September 4 party polls, Mr Mukhobeh was declared winner as Mr Jackson Matianga came second while the former RDC Kumi Mr Kato Matanda came third, prompting them to petition the electoral commission over incidents of forms of irregularities including vote rigging.
The results indicated that Mt Mukhobeh garnered 13, 920 votes against his closest rival Mr Jackson Matianga who managed only 6814 votes while Mr Kato Matanda got 5633, Mr Moses Watyekere Others Mr Jackson Matianga got1682 and Mr Abdu Mutange scored 401 votes.
But the NRM tribunal 8 October while dismissing the petition for lack of merit said the election was free and fair reflecting the decision of the people of Manjiya County constituency.
“Clearly the respondent won with an overwhelming margin of over 7000 votes. It is the finding of this tribunal that this result reflected the will of the people of Manjiya County,” reads the judgment signed by Mr Enock Barata chairperson of the NRM tribunal dated 8 October.
“WE therefore find that this petition lacks merit and is hereby dismissed. The Respondent [Mr Moses Mukhobeh Khaukha] should be cleared for nomination,” the tribunal adds.
This means that the 36-year-old Mukhobeh will now face National Unity Party’s Mr Nambeshe; a man who has chosen to go against his own party [NRM] in the 2021 parliamentary elections.
Mr Nambeshe has already declared his intention to contest for the Manjiya constituency seat after spending five years mired in the depths of NRM politics.
The NRM electoral commission received over 400 petitions following an election marred with several incidents of violence, ferrying of voters, voter bribery and intimidation of both candidates and voters.
According to Mr Oscar Kihiika, the NRM legal director, a team of 14 party lawyers were appointed to handle the petitions and each of the lawyers was assigned to hold a hearing where each party presented its case.
“The lawyers were expected to make recommendations to the electoral commission which then makes a final decision on whether to cancel the results or carry out a fresh tallying process,” said Mr Kihiika.