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Court Declines to Order Kampala Central MP Vote Recount

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In her ruling delivered this afternoon, the Mengo Chief Magistrate, Esther Nansambu says Nyanzi ran to court on hearsay, without any evidence warranting a vote recount.
Muhammad Nsereko's supporters celebrate their second victory outside the Mengo Chief Magistrate's court

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Fred Nyanzi, the National Unity Platform candidate for the Kampala Central Parliamentary seat has lost his bid for a vote recount. In her ruling delivered this afternoon, the Mengo Chief Magistrate, Esther Nansambu says Nyanzi ran to court on hearsay, without any evidence warranting a vote recount.  

She also said her court lacks jurisdiction on the prayers made by Nyanzi in his vote recount application. Nansambu, therefore, dismissed the application with costs. Nyanzi ran to court after losing to the incumbent Kampala Central Member of Parliament, Muhammad Nsereko.  The incumbent garnered 16,998 votes against Nyanzi’s 15,975.  

In his petition, Nyanzi claimed that the voting process and counting were marred by malpractices and irregularities committed by both the Electoral Commission officials and Nsereko’s agents. He also accused some presiding officers of denying his agents access to at least 53 voting areas.  

He cited different polling stations including Summit View, Nakasero 1 and 2, Hoima Flats among others where his agents were reportedly blocked from accessing voting areas. He said as a result, his agents were unable to sign the results declaration forms. Nyanzi also accused Nsereko and his agents of altering the declaration of result forms and destroying original copies of the forms among others.  

He also claimed that he did audit, which showed that 2,577 votes couldn't be accounted for since they were not given to any candidate. He therefore wanted court to order a recount of votes from Balikudembe Primary School, KCC Primary School polling stations, Seroma Parking Yard, All saints, Martin Road, Old Kampala SS, National Theatre, Nakivubo Road, Basajjabala Taxi Park, Kampala Library, Bombo Road among others.

 

However, EC that was jointly sued with Nsereko asked the court to dismiss the application, arguing that the applicant built his case on hearsay and didn’t produce any evidence to back the claims. In her ruling, Nansambu concurred with the submission of the EC lawyer, Hamidu Lugoloobi that the application was based on hearsay.  She explained that the applicants failed to produce any affidavit, the said unsigned declaration of result forms and names of his agents who were chased from polling stations as alleged.    

 

Nansambu also said that the applicant didn’t help guide court on where to find the missing 2,577 votes, saying he was on a fishing expedition such that court can help him to build his case. She disclosed that all the declaration of result forms before the court were duly signed by Nyanzi's agents. She advised him to turn his guns to his polling agents other than pointing them at Nsereko and the Electoral Commission.  

Nansambu also advised Nyanzi to establish whether his agents had turned into double agents since they signed the declaration forms contrary to his allegations. Nyanzi's lawyers led by George Musisi, have promised to appeal the magistrate’s ruling in High Court.

 

//Cue in: "Enkayana yaffe ebadde...    

  Cue out:... Zikyali nga   ngabwezali".//

    English  

  //Cue in: “Our dispute was ...    

  Cue out: ...all those malpractices".//  

    Nsereko's supporters couldn’t hold their excitement shortly after the court ruling. They jubilated while singing “Esepiki and Esigili Kati Zaake" literally meaning the saucepans and stove light.  

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