Eddie Kwizera

The Court of Appeal has thrown out two National Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs, the Gogonyo County legislator, Derrick Orone, and his Bukimbiri County counterpart, Eddie Kwizera, and declared their seats vacant.

The panel led by Justice Egonda-Ntende, Monica Mugenyi, and Muzamiru Mutangula Kibeedi delivered the verdicts in their Judgment on Monday afternoon.

The appelant court has directed the Electoral Commission to organize by-elections in the two constituencies within two months as stipulated by the electoral laws.

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The justices ruled that the ballot papers used in the elections for Bukimbiri County MP were defective.

“The judgment and orders of the learned judge from which this appeal arose are hereby set aside. The election of Kwizera Eddie the first respondent as MP for Bukimbiri is nullified and accordingly set aside,” they ruled.

Kwizera’s victory was challenged by Forum for Democratic Change’s James Owebeyi over non-compliance with the electoral laws.

Owebeyi noted that although the candidates’ photos and party symbols that appeared on the ballot papers were genuine, the names were not theirs.

Court also unanimously ordered for fresh election in Gogonyo County after finding that there was sufficient evidence against Orone for campaigning on the voting day.

Independent candidate Issa Taligoola accused Orone of having engaged in acts of bribery, sectarianism, and defamation.

Issa told Court heard that Orone moved with armed police officers within various polling stations while asking for votes on the polling day.

The court ruled that this offence alone was enough to warrant a nullification of the election and set aside a High Court decision that upheld Orone’s election.

Orone was also ordered to pay Taligoola the costs of the appeal.