Court ejects Butambala MP
Kampala Deputy Lord Mayor Sulaiman Kindandala (L) congratulates Mr Kivumbi (R) after flooring Mr Kikukulukunyu in a court battle on Friday. Photo by Joseph Kiggundu
By Anthony Wesaka
Posted Sunday, July 22 2012 at 01:00
The Court of Appeal says it was convinced MP Kikulukunyu bribed voters and therefore does not deserve to be in the House. The expelled MP will also meet all the costs of the case.
The opposition is in jubilation mood following the exit of another ruling National Resistance Movement MP.
Butambala MP Faisal Kikulukunyu was on Friday thrown out of Parliament after the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier High Court decision that he bribed voters in last year’s parliamentary elections.
The Court of Appeal’s majority decision ends Mr Kikulukunyu’s fight to stay in Parliament since he cannot appeal to another court as per the amended electoral laws.
Subsequently, the court has ordered the Electoral Commission to organise fresh elections in Butambala County.
Earlier in the judgement, the lead judge, Mr Steven Kavuma, had favoured NRM’s Kikulukunyu’s stay in Parliament.
However, other two judges Stella Arach Amoko and Remmy Kasule, ruled otherwise, thus DP’s Muwanga Kivumbi winning by majority decision of two to one.
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“Since judges Arach and Kasule do not agree, I have no option but to order a dismissal of the appeal by a majority of two to one in the terms and orders proposed in the majority judgement,” said Judge Kavuma.
Justifying his decision, Justice Kavuma, in his judgement, had noted that the evidence adduced by DP’s Kivumbi was lacking, treating it as “accomplice evidence which must be taken with caution”.
He concluded that for such evidence to stand, it should have been corroborated with other pieces of independent evidence, which was not done in this case.
On the contrary, the duo justices in their judgement, held that trial judge Musoke Kibuuka properly evaluated the evidence put before him, making him to reach the right decision of throwing out Mr Kikulukunyu out of Parliament.
“Having found that the judge was justified in reaching his decision, in the result, we dismiss the appeal and we uphold the orders of the High Court, namely that the election of the appellant as the MP of Butambala County constituency is set aside and a by-election is ordered,” held the two justices.
Court ordered Mr Kikulukunyu to foot all the bill of costs incurred by Mr Kivumbi right from the High Court in pursuing this appeal.
Present at the reading of so far the longest election appeal judgement were Kampala City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, MPs Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (Kyadondo East), Mathias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality) and Moses Kasibante (Rubaga), among others.
Shortly after the reading of the judgement by the Registrar of the court, Mr Erias Kisawuzi, opposition supporters sang the Buganda anthem and hurled insults at the ruling NRM.
A jolly Kivumbi thanked the Judiciary for being independent in handling his case.
In the contested elections, the EC declared Mr Kikulukunyu as the winner with 13,188 votes against Mr Kivumbi’s 12,453.
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