The NRM flag bearer in the recently concluded Rukungiri Woman Member of Parliament by-election, Winfred Matsiko has dashed to court seeking a nullification of the polls that gave victory to Forum for Democratic Change’s Betty Bamukwatsa Muzanira.
Matsiko, lost the seat to Muzanira during a by-election held on May 31 by 4000 votes but she rejected the results immediately citing irregularities and hooliganism orchestrated by members of the opposition.
Matsiko also accuses Muzanira of using abusive language and hate-speech during campaign rallies when she deliberately told constituents that she is a thief who does not qualify to be re-elected into parliament.
“I want them to prove to the court that am a thief and that I stole elections. They even say that I had over 10,000 pre-ticketed ballot papers during May 31st 2018 by-elections,” Matsiko said in a petition filed in Kabale High court.
“My supporters could not withstand the intimidation by FDC and some did not vote for me because they were told I am a thief,” she said.
Matsiko had on the polling day protested the decision by Rukungiri Returning Officer Omar Kiyimba to cancel results from some polling stations which in FDC challenged and presented evidence that they had been doctored through ballot stuffing.
Muzanira, who initially lost the 2016 election to Matsiko, successfully challenged her victory in 2016, leading to the cancellation of the results in April 2018 by the Court of Appeal and the subsequent by-election. She argued that the 2016 campaign was marred with voter bribery.
High Court Judge Wilson Kwesiga had on August 8, 2016, dismissed Munazira’s petition with costs, but the petitioner took the matter to the Court of Appeal which overturned the High Court’s decision.
Justices of the Court of Appeal stated that Muzanira’s evidence proved that Matsiko made donations during the campaign period at Kibale and Nyarushanje Catholic Churches.
The Court of Appeal also noted that there was the disenfranchisement of voters when the final result omitted ballots from more than 5000 voters.