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Nakaseke Woman MP Loser Seeks Permission to File Late Petition

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In 2017, the then High Court Judge Margaret Oumo Oguli set a precedent when she allowed a voter from Rubaga South ,Habib Buwembo, a year after the stipulated deadline to file an election petition against the incumbent MP Kato Lubwama for lack of the requisite academic documents to be in parliament.
18 Apr 2021 08:29
The Applicant Nakawooya's poster.
Esther Nakawooya, the first runner up in the Nakaseke District Woman Member of Parliament elections has petitioned High court seeking permission to file a late petition challenging the victory of her rival Sarah Najjuma. According to the final election results issued by the Electoral Commission, Najuma who ran on the National Resistance Movement party ticket won the January 14th, 2021 race with 30,298 votes.

Nakawooya, who stood on the Democratic Party ticket, came second with 19,182 votes followed by independent candidate, Allen Muvaara Mirembe with 11,196 votes and the National Unity Platform party candidate, Violet Nakalema came last with 10,585 votes.

However, Nakawooya contends that she was dissatisfied with the poll results. She, however, says that she couldn’t file a petition in time because she was bedridden at Mulago National Referral Hospital. Anyone dissatisfied with the poll results has up to 30 days to challenge the outcome after the names of the winners have been published in the Ugandan gazette. 

The gazette in this case came out on February 17 2021 meaning that the deadline expired last month. However, Nakawooya through her lawyers of Kizito, Lumu and company Advocates argues that she was bedridden from February 15 2021 and was unable to instruct her lawyers to file a petition. 

The evidence before the court in Nakawooya’s file dated April 12th, 2021 indicates that by the time she was discharged from Mulago National Referral Hospital, the time for filing the petition had elapsed. She, however, says that she was aggrieved by how the elections were conducted until the declaration of results and gazetting of Nakaseke woman MP.

Once given permission, the journalist cum politician states that she will adduce evidence showing how Najjuma committed electoral malpractices such as voter bribery and ballot stuffing among others. "That it shall be wrong out rightly to allow Najjuma Sarah benefit from the aforementioned offences and fraud without any intervention by courts of law”, reads the application in part. 

She asks the court to grant her prayers in the interest of justice. The file has been allocated to Justice Musa Ssekaana, the head of the High Court Civil Division, who is yet to fix a hearing date.

In 2017, the then High Court Judge, Margaret Oumo Oguli set a precedent when she allowed a voter from Rubaga South, Habib Buwembo, a year after the stipulated deadline to file an election petition against the incumbent MP, Kato Lubwama for lack of the minimum academic qualifications of Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education.

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