By Spy Uganda
Minister Judith Nalule Nabakooba the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has lost an election appeal against National Unity Platform (NUP)’s Joyce Bagala whom has been declared as the duly elected Mityana Woman Member of Parliament.
The above was after court of appeal on Friday overturned the High Court decision that had nullified Bagala’s victory on grounds of bribery.
Bagala won the polls with a margin of 16,000 votes defeating the Lands Minister, Hon Nabakooba. However in March 2021, Hon. Nabakooba filed a petition to challenge the results of the polls, alleging that Bagala was not validly elected to represent Mityana district, on grounds that the Electoral Commission failed to secure conditions necessary for the conduct of the election.
In her petition, Nabakooba who came second in the January 14 elections after getting 48,078 votes accused the Electoral Commission (EC) and Ms Bagala (respondents) of conspiring to steal her victory.
She also accused Bagala’s camp of intimidating her agents, invalidating valid votes cast for her, obstructing voters and giving voters pre-ticked ballot papers. However, during cross-examination, Bagala denied any wrongdoing and told the court that although the election was not perfect, it was free and fair.
The minister in her petition prayed that the election of Bagala Joyce Ntwatwa as a Woman Member of Parliament for Mityana district be annulled and or set aside, that fresh elections be conducted in accordance with the law and that the respondents pay the costs of the petition.
On 22 October, 2021, the High court of Mubende presided by Justice Emmanuel Baguma Judge nullified the election and ordered for a fresh election.
In his ruling, Justice Baguma said the court found that on a balance of probabilities the petitioner has adduced sufficient evidence to prove that the 2nd Respondent (Bagala) through her agents, with her knowledge or consent and approval, committed the alleged Electoral Offence of bribery.
“Upon finding that there is enough evidence in this petition to prove that the 2nd respondent through her Agents, with her knowledge and consent or approval, committed the electoral offence of bribery and court makes the following Orders; The election of the 2nd Respondent as Woman Member of Parliament for Mityana District Constituency is set aside. A by-election is ordered to be held in Mityana District Constituency for the Woman Member of Parliament and The petitioner is awarded the costs of this petition. I so order,” read the ruling.