Joyce Bagala of the National Unity Platform (NUP) has been declared as the validly elected Woman Member of Parliament for Mityana District on this Friday morning by the Court of Appeal in Kampala.
The Mubende High Court decision, which declared Bagala’s victory null and void due to noncompliance with electoral laws, was overturned by three appellate court Justices led by Geofrey Kiryabwire.
Minister Judith Nabakooba, a lands minister running on the National Resistance Movement (NRM) ticket, accused Bagala of electoral malpractices such as voter bribery and the use of soldiers to intimidate voters.
Bagala defeated the Lands Minister, Hon Nabakooba, by a margin of 16,000 votes. However, in March 2021, Hon. Nabakooba filed a petition to challenge the election results, alleging that Ms Bagala was not validly elected to represent Mityana district because the Electoral Commission failed to secure the necessary conditions.
However, the Court of Appeal ruled that Ms Nabakooba failed to adduce evidence to prove the said allegations, noting that even if there was noncompliance with the electoral laws, it was not sufficient enough to affect the election results in a substantive manner.
During the hearing of the case, MP Bagala had maintained that she would reclaim her seat because the election was conducted in compliance with the electoral laws.
She further disputed allegations by the minister of voter bribery, stating that even if there were any aspects of noncompliance with the electoral laws, they were not sufficient enough to warrant a nullification of her victory.
Ms Bagala contended that the said election was free and fair, and that if there was any non-compliance it didn’t warrant cancellation of the result, especially when there’s no evidence that the people who allegedly bribed voters were her agents. She then asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the lower court’s decision and uphold her victory. She then asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the lower court’s decision and uphold her victory.
The court of Appeal however ordered both parties to bear costs for the suit.