KAMPALA, Uganda—The delayed hearing of the parliamentary and local council election petitions yesterday entered the second week with a number of petitions being withdrawn.
However, Nansana MP Hannington Wakayima’s case that stood out citing mischievous nomination, academic under qualification, among other electoral shortcomings wasn’t terminated and the verdict upholding his victory was issued yesterday.
Mr. Wakayima’s January 14 victory had been challenged by Mr. Hamis Musoke Walusimbi (Independent) on grounds of lack of requisite papers.
Mr. Walusimbi had also accused the Electoral Commission of non-Compliance, citing an omission that he reckoned substantially affected the outcome of the poll.
But in her judgment yesterday, Justice Henrietta Wolao held that Mr. Wakayima “was lawfully nominated because he was not only a citizen and a registered voter, but he also possed the required academic qualifications of Uganda Certificate of Education and Uganda Advanced Certificate of education.”
The judge also ordered Mr. Walusimbi to pay the legal costs of Mr. Wakayima.
Mr. Walusimbi based on his petition on the court of appeal’s ruling that threw Mr. Wakayima out of parliament during the last election cycle.
The court, which is the final court in parliamentary and local council election disputes, ruled then that there were discrepancies in Mr. Wakayima’s names and academic documents.
Justice Wolayo however did not agree with this argument reasoning that Mr. Wakayima has since sworn in a poll deed, changing his name from Musoke Hannington.
This, she said, removed discrepancies in his names and academic papers that had been pointed out by the Court of Appeal.
“No one has turned up to claim to be Musoke Hannington and neither has anyone turned up to claim they know Musoke Hannington who is being impersonated by the 1st respondent,” Justice Wolayo ruled.
She added, “These findings lead me to one conclusion that the petitioner has failed to satisfy me that the 1st respondent was wrongly nominated when he did not possess academic qualifications.
In the January 14 poll, the EC returned Mr. Wakayima with 67,872 votes. NRM’s Robert Sebunya placed second with 15, 357 votes while Mr. Walusimbi came a distant third with 744 votes.