Out of Parliament Joyce Bagala

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The High Court in Mubende has ordered the Electoral Commission– EC to conduct a by-election for the Mityana District Woman Member of Parliament seat, after nullifying the election of Joyce Bagala.  

 

Bagala, a candidate of the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) had been declared winner of the January 14 polls with a margin of 16,000 votes to defeat Nabakooba. But, Nabakooba filed a petition to challenge the outcome of the polls, alleging that Bagala was not validly elected to represent Mityana district in parliament.

She accused the Electoral Commission of failing to secure conditions necessary for the conduct of the election. She added that while registered voters were threatened, and her agents intimidated, EC presiding officers connived with Bagala and her agents to procure voting by unregistered persons, facilitate impersonation of voters, and multiple voting.

Nabakooba also accused Bagala of bribing voters and added that at the time of vote counting, her valid votes were counted among the invalid votes, adding that on the basis of this, the results were affected in a substantial manner and as such, her victory was snatched.

“…the Petitioner has adduced sufficient evidence to prove that the second Respondent (Bagala) through her agents, with her knowledge or consent and approval, committed the alleged Electoral Offence of bribery,” Justice Emmanuel Baguma said, before ordering  Bagala to pay legal costs incurred by Ms Nabakooba. 

On the allegations of voting by unregistered voters, Justice Baguma held that Nabakooba proved her case on a balance of probabilities to the satisfaction of the court. The court held that the polling assistants gave out ballot papers to voters without verifying whether they were registered voters at the Polling station.        

He, however, ruled that the said non-compliance in the 11 polling stations did not affect the results in a substantial manner. “I have considered this allegation of undue influence and intimidation, and I find that the evidence is not sufficiently credible to sustain the allegation thus it has not been proved to the satisfaction of court upon a balance of probabilities,” Justice Baguma ruled.          

Mityana Woman MP Joyce Bagala expressed disappointment saying she would appeal against the unfortunate decision.   “I am also sure that the judge also knows that I won this election and the judge also knows that Nabakooba did not bring any piece of evidence to the effect that I bribed voters or there was noncompliance,”  she said.    

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