The Court of Appeal has confirmed National Unity Platform (NUP)’s Joyce Bagala as the duly elected Mityana Woman Member of Parliament.
The court on Friday overturned the High Court decision that had nullified Bagala’s victory on grounds of bribery. Her election win was challenged by Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba.
The former NBS TV journalist in the last elections won NRM’s Nabakooba in the hotly contested Mityana Woman Parliamentary election.
Ms Bagala won with 64,305 votes while Nabakooba who became second garnered 48,078 votes and in the third was Nabalisa Brenda who polled 1,515 votes.
However, Nabakooba did not accept the defeat and last year in March she went ahead and petitioned against Bagala’s victory in Mubende High Court on grounds that it was not conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda 1995, the Parliamentary Elections Act 2005 and Electoral Commission Act Cap 140, and that the non-compliance affected the results in a substantial manner.
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.