Court throws out 6 MPs out of Parliament

Kampala – Six Members of Parliament have been thrown out of Parliamnet after the Constitutional Court has nullified their election on grounds that they contested for non-existing vacancies .

The affected MPs are from the newly created municipalities of Bugiri, Apac, Nebbi, Kotido, Ibanda and Sheema.

Among the MPs affected are Asuman Basalirwa of Bugiri Municiplaity, and Minister Elioda Tumwesigye for Sheema, Patrick Ocan for Apac Municipality, among others.

The five Justices including; Deputy Chief Justice, Alphonse Owiny-Dollo, Kenneth Kakuru, Cheborion Barishaki, Fredrick Engonda- Ntende and Christopher Madrama in a unanimous agreement with the petitioner and a concerned citizen Eddie Kwizera averred that the election of the 6 MPs before the dissolution of the existing Parliamnet was null and void .

The justices have reasoned that the election of the 6 MPs cannot stand because they offered themselves to contest for constituencies whose administrative units, villages or cells had not yet been demarcated by the Electoral commission.

The Court has explained that much as Parliamnet has the power to divide Uganda into so many constuiences and the electoral commission is charged with a duty to ensure that each constituency is represented in Parliament, this can only be done during a general election or in a case of a by -election after the Speaker of Parliamnet announces an existing vacancy.

To the defense of their ruling, the justices have further explained that there were representatives already elected during the 2016 general elections before the new municipalities were curved out and that in any case, the electoral commission ought to have waited for the 2021 General elections to get representatives for the new municipalities created in August 2018.

The Electoral commission has been faulted and condemned to pay half of the total costs to Kwizera for causing an inconvenience to innocent people (six affected MPs) by making them leave whatever they had to do and also inccur costs to take part in unlawful elections and contest for non-existing vacancies.

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