By Fahad Malik Jjingo
Masaka Chief Magistrate has dismissed an application seeking to recount the votes cast for the Bukoto South constituency parliamentary race on January 14.
The application had been filed by Abdul Kiyimba, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) flag bearer, arguing that the tallying process had been riddled with a number of irregularities.
Kiyimba who garnered 6,685 votes lost to Dr Twaha Kagabo of the National Unity Platform, who got 8,883 votes.
Masaka Chief Magistrate Charles Yeteise said the applicant does not in any way challenge the figures but only states that the results were influenced by darkness and noise made after the declaration of presidential election results.
“Vote recount is not granted as a right, but on the evidence adduced before court. I have failed to find compelling evidence to warrant an order for a recount,” Yeteise said.
He added: “A recount is not a fishing expedition, but it is in respect of specific ballot papers counting of a polling station, because of the foregoing, I dismiss the application with costs to the respondents.”
Kiyimba’s lawyer, Steven Kalali, had told court that the tallying of votes was done in the dark and there was a mismatch of results which affected the outcome of the final result.
Some of the polling stations with contested results include Kinoni Masjid, Bugagamanyi, St Joseph Primary School, Nakalembe, Kasana playground, Bigando Primary School, and Degeya Mosque, among others.
But Dr Kagabo’s lawyer, John Bagole, countered that the affidavits supporting the application were full of falsehoods since at several polling stations, vote tallying was conducted between 4.30pm and 7.30pm.
Dr Kagabo welcomed the ruling, saying the exercise was free and fair.
He applauded the court for respecting the decision of the people of Bukoto South who voted for him.