Former Buhaguzi County MP Mpamizo Appeals Dismissal of Election Petition

Muheirwe has decided to challenge the decision of Justice Ssekaana raising four grounds in his appeal filed before the Court of Appeal in Kampala.
24 Oct 2021 21:41
Francis Kazini being lifted up by his supporters immediately after being declared winner.

The former Buhaguzi County Member of Parliament in Kikuube District, Daniel Muheirwe Mpamizo has appealed the decision to dismiss an election petition against his successor, Francis Kazini Twinomujuni.  

Muheirwe ran to Masindi High Court after losing the January 14, 2021 parliamentary elections to Kazini. He stood as an Independent Candidate and garnered 18,788 votes against  20,761 votes polled by his National Resistance Movement party rival Kazini.

As a result, Muheirwe was not happy with the decision by the Electoral Commission to declare Kazini Twinomujuni as the eventual winner of the elections .

Muheirwe decided to petition court seeking to overturn the victory of Kazini Twinomujuni on grounds that he had discrepancies in his academic papers which he described as an act of forgery. Court also heard that Kazini Twinomujuni lacks the minimum Advanced Level academic qualifications to be elected  as a member of parliament.

Muheirwe also accused his rival of intimidating his voters during the polling  day, voter bribery and other electoral malpractices. 

However, on September 28th 2021, Justice Musa Ssekaana dismissed Muheirwe’s petition saying that Kazini Twinomujuni was duly nominated, elected, declared and subsequently gazetted as the Buhaguzi County MP in compliance with the governing laws.

The Judge while sitting in Masindi ruled that Kazini Twinomujuni had the minimum requirement of Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education to be a legislator.  

Accordingly, Ssekaana ordered Muheirwe to pay costs of the petition to the respondents who included the Electoral Commission saying that there was no sufficient evidence to prove his allegations.  

But not happy with the orders in the judgement, Muheirwe has decided to challenge the decision of Justice Ssekaana raising four grounds in his appeal filed before the Court of Appeal in Kampala.    

Muheirwe contends that the learned trial Judge erred in law and fact when he held that the burden of proof in election petitions must be slightly higher than in ordinary civil cases hence coming to a wrong conclusion.  

Justice Ssekaana is also being faulted for having reportedly failed to properly evaluate the evidence on court record and came to a wrong conclusion that the appellant/Muheirwe had no iota of evidence; but merely relied on desk review of Kazini Twinomujuni's nomination papers /academic documents to make his case.  

"The learned trial Judge erred in law and fact in holding that the first respondent/Kazini Twinomujuni was validly nominated to participate in elections for Buhaguzi County in Kikuube district and therefore was duly elected," reads the appeal in part.

According to Muheirwe, the learned trial Judge further erred in law and fact when he condemned him to pay costs to Kazini Twinomujuni and the Electoral Commission with whom they are jointly sued in the Court of Appeal.

Through his lawyers of Mujurizi, Alinaitwe and Byamukama Advocates, Muheirwe now wants the Court of Appeal to allow his appeal with costs, nullifies the victory of Kazini and go ahead and reverse Justice Ssekaana's decision.

The court records show that the copies of this appeal should be served to K and K Advocates  in Kampala who are the lawyers representing the respondents.

Muheirwe’s appeal is one of the 51 election appeals arising from the 2021 general elections and High Court decisions that have so far been filed in the Court of Appeal as of October 22nd 2021.  

All the appeals which are supposed to be heard and determined by panels comprising of three Judges are not yet fixed for hearing.