Kabale High Court throws out petition challenging Jim Muhwezi’s parliamentary victory

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Kabale High Court throws out petition challenging Jim Muhwezi’s victory.

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Security Minister Gen Jim Muhwezi Katugugu yesterday sealed his victory fully as the MP for Rujumbura county in Rukungiri District after the Kabale High Court threw out the election petition that had been filed by his opponent.

The petition had been filed by Forum for Democratic Change candidate Fred Turyamuhweza Tumuheirwe who was the runners up in the January 14 polls where he had petitioned the High Court seeking to have Muhwezi’s election overturned over voter bribery, ballot stuffing and intimidation of voters.

However Justice Phillip Odoki ruled that there was no evidence to prove the allegations against both Muhwezi and the Electoral Commission that had listed as the respondents.

The judge said that the arguments by Tumuheirwe didn’t pass both quantitative and qualitative tests that would warrant the overturning of the election.

“Applying the quantitative test, the voter margin between the petitioner and the first respondent was 5,243 votes, the petitioner did not adduce any evidence to show that this numerical margin would have been different or he would have won the election if there was compliance,” the judge said.

“Applying the qualitative test, the question that begs to answered is, based on the evidence presented before the court, can it be said that the election which was held on the January,14, 2021 in Rujumbura County constituency, was qualitatively devoid of merit and can be rightly described as a spurious imitation of what an elections should be or was conducted so badly that it amounts to a sham election? In my view, considering that the petitioner did not produce evidence that can lead to the conclusion that the election was a sham, the answer is a clear no.”

The judge also noted that there is not evidence to prove that the election of Jim Muhwezi as the Rujumbura County Member of Parliament was done in contravention of the provisions of the Parliamentary Elections Act.

The election of the first respondent therefore reflects the choice and will of the majority voters of Rujumbura County Constituency, Rukungiri District,” justice Odoki said.

“Since the petitioner has failed to prove to the satisfaction of the court all the grounds of the petition, the petition is accordingly dismissed with costs.”

Minister Jim Muhwezi was represented by Mwesigwa Rukutana and Company Advocates.

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