The High Court in Mubende has dismissed with costs, an election petition
in which a former contestant for the Mityana North Parliamentary seat, Dr Gordon Sematiko Katende was challenging the
election of Nsegumire Muhammad Kibedi.
High Court Judge, Justice Emmanuel Baguma on Friday ruled that Dr Sematiko’s
claims of bribery and defamation were not supported with sufficient evidence to
annul an election.
Justice Baguma ruled that Dr Sematiko failed to prove the bribery
claims because there was no corroboration of the evidence from the people who
allegedly received the money.
“In court’s view, the witnesses did not adduce evidence to prove
that the people who were bribed with sugar were registered voters neither did
he adduce any evidence to show that the people distributing sugar were agents
of the Kibedi),” the judge ruled.
On acts of defamation against Dr Sematiko, a candidate for the
opposition National Unity Platform – NUP, the court held that there is no
evidence of acts of defamation adduced by the witnesses because they did not
state out the exact words in verbatim.
“The said defamatory statements were allegedly recorded in the
video and the translated version from Luganda to English was not clear since
court could not even pick any defamatory statement about the personal character
of the Petitioner in verbatim,” reads the court decision.
According to Justice Baguma, all the statements of the witnesses
about the defamatory statements could not be traced in the video and their
evidence was not credible but full of inconsistencies and contradictions which
could not be believed by court.
Dr Sematiko, the former Executive Secretary at National Drug
Authority- NDA challenged the victory of Kibedi on grounds of bribery and making
and publishing of false statements by words concerning his character.
Dr Sematiko had accused Kibedi of making and publishing false
statements by words concerning his character before the election with the sole
purpose of tarnishing his name thereby preventing voters from electing him
Kibedi said the court decision was a confirmation that he was a validly
elected MP for Mityana North Constituency and that the truth has been revealed.
Kibedi also accused Dr Sematiko of vote-rigging saying he should have
been the right person to petition court. He advised his rival to desist from
appealing because it would only increase legal costs.
//Cue in: “I told you…
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Sematiko says that he needs time to read and understand the court
judgement before he thinks of the next action.
//Cue in: “and we don’t…
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In the elections, Kibedi polled 13,784 votes against Sematiko’s
13,557 votes. The other contestants were Grace Kintu, Freddie who got 551,
Shingiiro Didas Kayonga 485 votes, Byron Mutyaba 406 votes, Kasule Onesimu 332,
James Lubega 217 and Keya Watson Ronald polled 144 votes.