Former candidate for Masindi district LC 5 seat, Wilson Isingoma Mugimba, has petitioned Masindi High Court challenging the election of Mr Cosmas Byaruhanga as district chairman.
Mr Mugimba who lost to Mr Byaruhanga in the January 20, 2021 poll has sued both Mr Byaruhanga and the Electoral Commission (EC) in a petition filed to court yesterday (Tuesday).
Mr Byaruhanga polled 35, 635 votes representing 67 percent against Mr Mugimba’s 14, 452 votes representing 27 percent of the vote. Independent Mr Lenox Mugume garnered 1, 389 votes while Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Mr Tom Kiweesi got 1,097 votes in the same race.
In the petition, a copy of which Kazi-njema News has seen, Mr Mugimba contends that Mr Byaruhanga was illegally nominated by the EC as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party flag bearer for the seat.
Mr Mugimba adds that the EC’s nomination of Mr Byaruhanga tantamount to contempt of a court order since the NRM election dispute tribunal had declared him as the NRM flag bearer for that seat.
The petitioner says that the EC’s nomination of Mr Byaruhanga as the NRM party flag bearer resulted in his failure since he used to tell his supporters to vote for a person with the NRM party symbol yet the electoral body had not complied with the court order that declared him the party flag bearer.
He, therefore, wants court to nullify Mr Byaruhanga’s election and award him costs and damages.
When contacted to authenticate the petition, Mr Mugimba owned it but declined to divulge the details.
However, earlier, Mr Mugimba had conceded defeat saying he was returning to his agribusiness projects.
When contacted for a comment about being dragged to court, Mr Byaruhanga confirmed having been served with a copy of the petition adding that his lawyers were studying it and preparing his defence.
Mr Mugimba lost to Mr Byaruhanga in the NRM party primaries for the same seat prompting him to petition the party election dispute tribunal citing malpractices. The tribunal annulled Mr Byaruhanga’s election and handed the flag to Mr Mugimba.
However, by that time, the EC had already registered Mr Byaruhanga who had already been nominated for the seat. The EC advised Mr Mugimba to stand as an independent candidate to allow him to pursue the process of overturning Mr Byaruhanga’s nomination as the NRM party candidate.
But later, the NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC) confirmed Mr Byaruhanga as the party’s flag bearer for the seat saying that Mr Mugimba filed the petition after Mr Byaruhanga had already been endorsed by the party secretary general as the party flag bearer.