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Thembo Mujungu of Busongora South Constituency Kicked Out of Parliament, Court Orders Fresh Elections

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Gideon Thembo Mujungu has been kicked out of parliament as Busongora South MP in Kasese district after the court of Appeal nullifying his victory and ordered fresh election.

This follows a successful appeal lodged by his independent rival, Mbaju Kathika who challenged Mujungus victory in 2021 elections.

In 2021, the Electoral Commission declared Mujungu, who ran on the National Resistance Movement-NRM party ticket, the winner of Busongora South parliamentary seat with 7,601 votes against 7,522 votes garnered by his rival.

Mbaju rejected defeat and petitioned Fort Portal High court citing cases of voter bribery, ballot stuffing, and the existence of ghost voters on the register. He also claimed that his rival lacked the requisite academic qualifications for election as a member of parliament.

However, Justice Victorious Katamba, who listened to the application, dismissed it on grounds that the evidence presented to the court by the petitioner was inadequate. She also said that she was convinced by the evidence presented before court that Mujungu attained the required academic qualifications.

Justice Katamba also noted that there was no evidence proving the allegations of ghost voters in Busongora South constituency.

This forced Mbaju to appeal the High court judgment, saying that the judge had failed to evaluate the evidence before court.

On Wednesday, a panel of three member Court of Appeal justices led by Frederick Egonda Ntende indicated that there is sufficient evidence of ballot pre-ticking, balloting stuffing, and multiple voting, which is strengthened by the fact that the 100% voter turn recorded at one polling station could not have been possible given the fact that there were people who had died and some who did not vote but were still on the voters register.

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They cited Katunguru primary school polling station, where some of the voters on the register were confirmed dead. The evidence availed to court according to the ruling confirmed that 7 of the claimed voters were dead at the time of the elections.

The others were Katunguru market polling station, Busunga primary school polling station, and Quran primary school polling station. The appellant set aside Mujungus victory and ordered fresh polls.

I would set aside the election of Thembo Gideon Mujungu as a Member of Parliament for Busongora county South, Kasese district. I would order respondent no. 2 to hold a by-election for Busongora County South Constituency in accordance with the law. the court ruled.

Mbaju couldnt hide excitement after the Court of Appeal verdict, saying that he has got a chance to prove to his voters that he is a worthy leader. I want to mention that this victory is not mine but those who believe in democracy, the rule of law, and that one person is entitled to one vote. This victory is for my voters, he said.

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Jolliebest Kasajja is a Ugandan Photo Journalist, Influencer, Photo and Videographer, Nnews Editor and Critic for African Politics.