The current Katerera County MP, Hatwib Katoto has petitioned the High Court in Mbarara to throw out the newly elected legislator who is also his brother, Muhammed Kato over lack of the requisite academic documents.
Katoto, the incumbent lost the seat to his brother, Kato in the January,14 polls.
In his petition to court, Katoto says Kato was not validly elected as a Member of Parliament for Katerera County since the nomination, election and declaration by the Electoral Commission had flaws.
“The first respondent (Muhammad Kato) was not validly nominated and elected since at the time of his nomination and subsequent election, he lacked the requisite academic qualification of minimum formal education of Advanced level standard or its equivalent to stand as a Member of Parliament,” Katoto says in his petition.
According to Katoto, his brother who is also the MP-elect didn’t qualify for nomination of the said election within the confines of Article 80 (1) (c) of the Constitution and Section 4 (1) and 61 (1) (d) of the Parliamentary Elections Act No.17 of 2005.
Katoto also accuses his bother of violence through intimidation of his supporters at several polling stations on the polling day and ballot stuffing.
“Contrary to Sections 42, 61 (1) (c) and 77 of the Parliamentary Elections Act, there were gun and stick-wielding men at several Polling stations including Kafuro Primary school, Kirugu Playground, Kyenzaza Health Centre- Kyenzaza 1A, Kyenzaza Health Centre Kyenzaza 1B and Kirugu Subcounty Headquarters who greatly intimidated and compromised the freedom of the voters at the polling stations, an act that contravened the electoral laws.”
The incumbent also accuses polling officials of allowing multiple voting by gun and stick-wielding men who moved from one polling station to another and that these did so in the favour of Muhammad Kato.
Katoto says that contrary to provisions of the Electoral Commission Act and the Parliamentary Elections Act, the Electoral Commission compromised the principle of impartiality and transparency when it failed to restrain Kato and his agents from carrying out illegal activities during the election exercise but rather supported the vice.
“Contrary to Sections 76 (a) and 80 (b) of the Parliamentary Elections Act, the first respondent published campaign posters reflecting the name ‘Katoto’ as part of his name whereas not, with the intention of misleading the voters and passing off as KATOTO HATWIB.”
In the petition where the Electoral Commission has been listed as a respondent, Hatwib Katoto also accuses his brother, Muhammed Kato of bribing voters by donating an obstetric machine to Katerera Health Centre and an electric pole to voters at Kabaseke in Katerera Town Council.
Katoto insists Muhammed Kato directly and substantially benefitted from this non-compliance with the electoral laws and other irregularities and therefore should be thrown out of parliament.
“The petitioner prays that a preliminary order be issued for the recount in court of the ballots for Mwongera Church of Uganda, Kagarama Primary school, Rushoroza Catholic Church, Kyabakara Health Centre lI, Kyabakara Catholic Centre, Kanywero Primary school, St. Josephs town council, Kiruguru Playground, Kikumbo Catholic Church, Kafuro Primary School, Kirugu Senior Secondary School, Kyenzaza Health Centre- Kyenzaza 1A, Kyenzaza Health Centre- Kyenzaza 18, Kirugu Subcounty Health Centre, Mugera Primary School and Kafuro Primary school Polling stations.”
Katoto also wants court to declare that his brother was not validly elected as Katerera County MP and the election should therefore be annulled and a new election be conducted.