Uganda: Court Ejects Minister Opendi From Parliament

It is no longer strange to to hear that an MP has been thrown out of the current Parliament for either violating electoral laws or lacking academic qualifications. The latest culprit is the Minister of health for general duties, Sarah Opendi.

The minister was sued jointly with the Election Commission by her rival Jacinta Ayo of NRM on grounds including voter bribery, result manipulation and intimidation.

In her ruling, Justice Margret Oumo Oguli siting at the High Court in Mbale faulted the Tororo district returning officer for failure to perform his duty as required in the electoral laws.

"The petitioner has proved to court that the returning officer didn't use the original declaration forms to declare the winner as required by the electoral laws," said Justice Oumo.

She added: "If this was followed the petitioner (Ms Ayo) would have won the election with a margin of 508 votes," said the Justice said.

The justice subsequently ordered for fresh elections under the supervision of a different EC official from that that conducted the previous one.

"I therefore declare Tororo woman parliamentary seat vacant. I order EC to conduct a fresh election under the supervision of a different official," the Justice ruled.

Minister Opendi ran as an independent candidate following defeat by Ms Ayo in the NRM primaries.

Opendi to appeal ruling

However, Mr Jamil Mugulisi the lawyer who represented the minister told Journalists shortly after ruling that they are going to appeal saying his client had won most of the key allegations raised against her.

Source: The Monitor.