B Ivan Mwine
The Court of Appeal has ruled Friday June 24th, 2022, that Joyce Bagala, of the National Unity Platform, is the validly elected Woman Member of Parliament for Mityana District.
Bagala’s election had been contested by Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba, of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), who last year petitioned the High Court seeking her removal from Parliament.
However, today, the Court of Appeal dismissed a High Court decision that had nullified her election after Nabakooba failed to adduce evidence of electoral malpractice as she alleged, thereby reinstating her as the rightful Mityana District Woman MP.
The decision was made by three Justices of the appellate court led by Geofrey Kiryabwire, who set aside the Mubende High Court decision that had nullified Bagala’s victory on grounds that there was noncompliance with the electoral laws.
In her petition, Nabakooba who had accused Bagala of among other offense engaging in various electoral malpractices, including voter bribery and the use of soldiers to intimidate voters, which she failed to adduce evidence for.
During the hearing, Bagala disputed Nabakooba’s allegations of voter bribery, stating that even if there were any aspects of noncompliance with the electoral laws, they were not sufficient enough to warrant a nullification of her victory.
She insisted that the election was free and fair, and that if there was any non-compliance it didn’t warrant cancellation of the result, especially when there’s no evidence that the people who allegedly bribed voters were her agents.
Following the ruling, each of the parties was ordered to cater for their costs of the petition.