Electoral Commission has cancelled the nomination of Robert Mugabe for the Kitagwenda district LC V chairperson race due to lack of academic qualifications. Mugabe, who is currently serving as the Interim LC V chairperson, was nominated on the National Resistance Movement – NRM party ticket.
His rival is Ismail Mushemeza, an independent candidate. Mugabe’s trouble started in December last year when Kenneth Tumwebaze, a concerned voter petitioned Uganda National Examination Board – UNEB, accusing the candidate of forging his Primary Leaving Examinations – PLE result slip.
The examinations body then invited Mugabe for a hearing on Dec 7 but he was no show. He, instead, ran to Fort Portal High court where he obtained an order restraining UNEB from probing the authenticity of his academic documents. On Dec 14, High court dismissed his application with costs.
UNEB invited Mugabe to appear on Dec 21 but he still failed to turn up forcing the board to take a decision in his absence. “Basing on the material availed, UNEB Examinations Security Committee proceeded with the hearing and it was proven that you presented a forged PLE result slip No. 33269/058 -1999 in 2014 when you sat for Uganda Certificate of Education – UCE,” read part of Odongo’s letter to Mugabe.
This, according to Odongo, meant that his UCE and Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education – UACE, were also invalid because he obtained them using a forged PLE result slip. Mugabe then accused UNEB of unfairness, saying he was never called for a hearing. Tumwebaze welcomed the decision, saying he was waiting for EC to disqualify Mugabe. Now, the EC Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama has written cancelling Mugabe’s nomination. The letter, which has been addressed to Tumwebaze, notes that because Mugabe forged his PLE slip and UNEB cancelled his academic papers, he is no longer fit for the race.
Mugabe declined to comment on the matter when contacted by our reporter. But his disqualification means that his competitor Mushemeza has remained unopposed. Tumwebaze says he is happy that justice has finally been served. Before becoming a district on July 1, 2019, Kitagwenda was a county under Kamwenge where Mugabe served as deputy speaker.