On Monday, Court of Appeal chaired by deputy chief justice Steven Kavuma ruled in favour of Bunyoro Affairs minister Ernest Kiiza, declaring null and void the decision by the High Court to have new elections held in Masindi Municipality.
The bench of three Court of Appeal judges argued that Kabakumba had not presented substantial evidence to implicate minister Kiiza of bribery. Kabakumba had claimed that the minister had bribed voters with salt, footballs, jerseys and water wells prior to the 2016 parliamentary elections.
The judges also ruled that Kabakumba had failed to provide the particulars of the voters allegedly bribed by Kiiza.
Consequently, court confirmed minister Kiiza as the duly-elected MP for Masindi Municipality.
The court of Appeal also confirmed Bishop Patrick Okabe as MP for Serere County in Soroti district.
The 3 justices led by the Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma have unanimously overturned the decision of the Highcourt in Soroti that had annulled the election of Bishop Okabe on grounds that lacks requisite academic qualifications.
This after the court re-evaluated the evidence on record and found out that the petitioner Joseph Opio Linos had no capacity to file an election petition since he was not validly nominated as a candidate to contest in the said election nor did he accompany his petition with 500 signatures from other voters.
The justices ruled that there is evidence that Opio’s nomination was rejected by the returning officer after finding out that his 2 nominees were not registered voters.
That even though Opio appealed to the Electoral Commission, there is no minutes on court record showing that the 5 members of the commission sat and either unanimously or by majority vote decided to nominate him.
The court then ruled that in such circumstances, there was no valid petition to be considered in the Highcourt and therefore allowed Bishop Okabe’s appeal with costs and set aside the order for EC to conduct fresh-elections.