Masaka Court Throws Out Vote Recount Application for Bukoto South

The Masaka Chief Magistrate has dismissed an application seeking for a recount of the Bukoto South votes.

Hajji Abdu Kiyimba Bukoto South, who contested on the NRM party ticket dragged the Electoral Commission and the winner Dr Twaha Kagabo to court seeking for recounting of votes arguing that the tallying processes were marred by irregularities.

Kiyimba polled 6,685 votes while Kagabo of the National Unity Platform-NUP got 8,883 votes. Independent candidates Julius Ssentamu and Nakimera Makuza Bena polled 5621 and 325 respectively.

Kiyimba who was represented by Steven Kalali wanted the court to order for a recount of votes from 24 polling stations saying that tallying at these stations was marred by irregularities and that counting was done late in the night, giving room for alteration of results.

Some of the polling stations with contested results include Kinoni Masjid, Bugagamanyi, St Joseph primary school,  Nakalembe polling station, Kasana playground, Bigando primary school, and Degeya mosque among other places.

Kalali also told the court that two of their agents Namusanje Zaina who was a polling agent at Nakalembe polling station and Kalisa Victor Francis who was a polling agent at Degeya polling station had intimated to them that the tallying exercise was conducted in the dark and there was a mismatch of results which affected the outcome of the final results. He asked the court to order for a recount of the votes at all the 24 polling stations.

Kagabo’s lawyer John Bagole, however, told the court that the affidavits supporting the application were full of falsehoods since at several polling stations vote tallying was conducted between 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm.

Bagole told the court that if there was a mismatch of results as the loser alleges his agents at the various polling stations should not have signed the declaration of results forms. 

In his ruling, the Chief Magistrate Masaka Charles Yeteise dismissed the application for lack of evidence.

“Vote Recount is not granted as a right, but on the evidence adduced before court, I have failed to find compelling evidence to warrant an order for a recount. A recount is not a fishing expedition. I dismiss the applications with costs to the respondents,” Yeteise ordered.

Kalali, however, said they were surprised by the court’s decision because they presented enough evidence to show that the irregularities in the tallying exercise robbed his client of victory.