Uganda: Mbabazi Asks Court to Nullify Poll Results

By Urn

The legal team of independent presidential candidate, Amama Mbabazi has asked the Supreme court to order for a vote recount at the district level or nullify the presidential elections altogether, saying the Electoral Commission didn't comply with the law.

Mohmed Mbabazi, the lead counsel of Mbabazi's legal team said this in his submission during the presidential elections petition hearing this morning.

Mbabazi told court that the constitution requires that in announcing the winner, the Electoral Commission must rely on results declaration forms, tally sheets and return forms, which wasn't the case. He argued that the final results that were announced by EC chairperson, Engineer Dr Badru Kiggundu were not those from the declaration of results forms.

He explained that if there were no declaration of results forms, then there were no results, which renders the whole process null. Mbabazi said their attempts to get the forms were futile, despite the fact that Kiggundu told court that they were lying somewhere in the Commission's offices. He said that since the declaration of results forms are not in court they can't rely on them.

Mbabazi cited an affidavit by Sheisha Adam Juma, the Kabale District Returning Officer in, which he claimed he electronically submitted the results in the presence of candidate's agents and other stakeholders. He however, says in the same affidavit, the same officer says that he carried the server to Kampala where the results were retrieved after he failed to submit the results electronically because of the slow transmission process and a breakdown in the computer.

Mbabazi described the contradictions as concealment of facts. Mbabazi also argued that neither the candidate nor their agents witnessed the vote tallying at the National Tallying center, adding that they also didn't sign the result declaration forms both at the district and national tally centers.

He said the declaration of results forms that they saw at the Commission during their inspection were signed by either Kiggundu or the District Returning Officers. Mbabazi also said social media was blocked to conceal facts. He cited Godwin Kasigwa, a resident of Buliisa who was arrested for taking pictures of a broken seal on a ballot box and posting them on social media. Mbabazi said Kasigwa was summoned to the district security committee meeting where it was ruled that he was a threat to the national security.

According to Mbabazi, the blockage of social media was confirmed in the affidavits of Godfrey Mutabaazi, the executive director Uganda Communications Commission, and Police chief, Kale Kayihura, who said it was done because of national security. Mbabazi said an electoral matter turned out to be a security matter leading to the blockage of social media.

On the biometric voter verification system, Mbabazi said, while Kiggundu claimed that system was introduced for credibility and integrity of the election, it failed to be transparent because what it takes in doesn't come out.

He also said contrary to what Kiggundu claimed yesterday during the cross-examination that the biometric voter verification system takes just 30 seconds, a one Duncan Mpogo who was trained in the use of the Biometric Voter Verification Kit (BVVK) machines actually says it takes a minimum of two minutes and that his evidence was collaborated by that of Sheisha Adam Juma, the Kabale District Returning Officer.

In his affidavit Juma asserts that voters took long in the queues due to the slow process of the BVVK. He said the evidence is very clear that there was no compliance with electoral laws. He asked why EC didn't use the declaration of results forms in declaration of the final results, whether their action was legal and lawful.

"Minus this, the outcome is a nullity and we probably have to go back and do a fresh tallying at the district and later national level or have the elections annulled," he said.

Source: All Africa