EC releases roadmap for Kalungu LC5 by-election

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The Electoral Commission (EC) has issued a roadmap for a by-election of Kalungu District chairperson following the nullification of the election of Mr Richard Kyabaggu.

According to the programme released by EC boss, Justice Simon Byabakama on Wednesday, the electoral process started on Monday with updating of voters’ register and will end today. Display of the register will be conducted from July 24 to August 2, at all polling stations in the district.

Nomination of candidates will then follow on August 2 and 3, after which campaigns will start from August 7 to 29 and then climax with polling on August 31.

Justice Byabakama, who met stakeholders at Kalungu District headquarters, apologised for the abnormalities that led to the nullification of the election where declaration forms from Kulamaga, Kitawuluzi, Yesu Akwagala and Bugomola polling stations were said to be fabricated.

“We are still investigating and evaluating that incident and if any of our staff is found guilty, he/she will be dealt with as the law requires,” he said.

He also added: “Following a petition by Democratic Party leadership and some other stakeholders about the conduct of the district returning officer, Ms Jacqueline Mbula, EC has suspended the latter and appointed Masaka Regional Electoral Returning Officer, Ms Leticia Nantabo to oversee the by-election.”
Mr Emmanuel Musoke, who also attended the meeting, asked EC officials to ensure that they conduct a free and fair exercise.

“Mr chairman and commissioners here, I want you to give us assurance that this time there will be no tricks played in this by-election,” Mr Musoke said.

So far two individuals, Musoke of Democratic Party (DP) and NRM’s incumbent Kyabaggu have declared their intention to contest for the post.

Mr Musoke, who is the former Kalungu District chairman, lost the office to Mr Kyabaggu in last year’s LC5 elections by 339 votes, the results he later challenged in court, complaining of irregularities in the elections.

However, a panel of three Court of Appeal judges in their ruling recently declined to declare Musoke as the validly elected chairperson for Kalungu District thus ordering for fresh elections.

The panel included; Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma, Justices Elizabeth Musoke and Justice Paul Mugamba.

The Court of Appeal concurred with Masaka High Court judge Lawrence Gidudu, who had earlier pointed out in his ruling that the authenticity of the Declaration Forms which court would have based on to declare Musoke as winner were questionable and were not certified by the Electoral Commission.

In his ruling last August, Justice Gidudu pointed out that DP’s Musoke was denied victory by the EC after fabricating declaration of results forms in four polling stations of Kulamaga, Kitawuluzi, Yesu Akwagala and Bugomola.

In the contested election, Mr Emmanuel Musoke had polled 12,581 votes against Richard Kyabaggu’s 12,920 votes. However, a panel of three Court of Appeal justices declined to declare Musoke as the validly elected chairperson for Kalungu District. Other candidates who were in the race included Omar Goloba (700 votes), Elisha Kazibwe (939), Mark Kiwanuka (1685), Richard Luyombo (2,083) and Juma Sserukuuma (487), all independents.

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