Kampala – Three Justices of the Court of Appeal bench on Tuesday upheld the election of Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Jim Katugugu Muhwezi as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Rujumbura Constituency in Rukungiri District.
The appeal against Muhwezi, the Rujumbura National Resistance Movement (NRM) party flag bearer in the 2021 polls, was filed by Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party flag bearer Fred Turyamuhweza.
This was after Muhwezi, who doubles as Security Minister had defeated Turyamuhweza with 23,990 votes against 20,556 votes. Turyamuhweza rejected the results and petitioned the High Court citing voter bribery, ballot stuffing and intimidation.
Kabale High High Court Judge, Phillip Odoki, first dismissed the petition with costs, stating that Turyamuhweza failed to prove to the satisfaction of the court on all the grounds.
On Tuesday, the Justices of the Court of Appeal bench; Cheborion Barishaki, Stephen Musota and Gashirabake, also agreed with Justice Odoki and dismissed the same stating that Turyamuhweza did not produce evidence that can lead to the conclusion that the election was a sham.
Speaking to the media in Kampala after the ruling, Mwesigwa Rukutana, the counsel for Muhwezi said that they are happy as lawyers that finally the Court of Appeal has also found the truth.
He added that the usual practice of following costs had not been applied as expected earlier by the court. He added that the appellant unjustifiably dragged their client to Court adding that they deserve to know the reason why there was no merit in the appeal.
“He should have been condemned to costs but of course I can’t challenge the discretion of the court and I respect the ruling,” said Rukutana.
He appreciated and thanked the people of Rujumbura and Rukungiri at large for overwhelmingly voting for Gen. Jim Muhwezi adding that the people of Rujumbura have also in this matter. He further extended his appreciation to the people of Rujumbura for supporting and maintaining their confidence by voting for his client.
“The first round was for casting their vote, second round was to have the victory upheld by a High court petition in Kabale and now the third and final round is conclusive victory,” he added.
Muhwezi reaffirmed to the people of Rujumbura that he was not surprised that the Court of Appeal had ruled in their favor. He added that the High Court had already decided in their favour that the people of Rujumbura had voted their client overwhelmingly.
“I defeated my opponent in all the five sub-counties and two town councils. I defeated my opponent hands down,” Muhwezi said.
He thanked the people of Rujumbura who have patiently waited for this and also thanked his lawyers, NRM party and his family who have been there for him during the time of elections and final victory. He reminded the people of Rujumbura that time is now to embark on developmental programs.
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