The High court in Kampala has ordered Makerere University to reinstate guild president elect Bazil Mwotta and declare him the rightful winner of the 11th march guild elections.
The court has also quashed the guild elections tribunal committee’s decision to have elections repeated at the school of education that was scheduled on Wednesday, this week.
“That the decision the guild election petition tribunal dated march 22nd, 2016 to carry out fresh elections at school of education be quashed. That the applicant be declared the successful candidate of the 11th march 2016 elections held at Makerere University as a whole,” the injunction stated.
According to the injunction the court observed that the respondents had taken unjust, unfair and illegal decisions.
“That there was no fair hearing nor did the respondents follow the with regard universally accepted rules on election petitions.”
Through Mbidde and co advocates, Bazil complained that he was voted by the majority and hence there was no need for a re-election.
The court has since set 20th April as the hearing date for both parties.
On Wednesday students from the school of education chased away Electoral Commission officials who had brought voting materials for revoting.
The students opposed the move saying if this is to happen then the whole University should vote again.
The students went up in arms to protest for their guild president elect Bazil Mwotta who they believe is being denied his victory.
“By illegally denying the School of Education students the right to vote, the respect to their choice and outcome of their election is a threat to each student of this university. It is this way that this University continues to undermine our contribution to the Ivory tower that has resulted into passing draconian policies that hurt the entire student body. The time has come for us to say to this University that we have had enough. We demand the respect we deserve,” Mwotta said.
According to the results announced by chairman Electoral Commission Ndaula Roy, Mwotta garnered a total of 4594 votes (36.3%) closely followed by DP’s Ssemboga Roy with 4276 votes (33.6%),with a margin of only 318 votes.
This follows a petition lodged on Monday last Week by Roy with the election petitions’ tribunal established under Art. 80 of the amended Guild Constitution alleging a number of irregularities from two polling stations at the school of education where Mwotta got over 1700 votes compared to Roy’s dismal 64 votes.
In his petition, Roy accused the presiding officers at the school of flouting electoral rules, complained about the beating amid chasing away from the polling station of his polling agents by supporters of Bazil’s camp, duplication of voter registers, cited inconsistencies in the declared results, and insisted that 1000 people cannot have voted within a space of 8 hours.
The tribunal late Monday this week convened in the guild offices and redid the counting of votes in all the ballot boxes containing ballot papers from the school in a bid to “establish the extent of the malpractices”.
During the recounting, which Mwotta refused to attend, the tribunal allegedly discovered that Roy had more votes from one of the two polling stations at the school of Education, contrary to what the electoral commission had declared.
It was allegedly discovered that on polling station A at the school of education Ssemboga Roy had 217 votes but the electoral commission announced that he had 32.
Another contestant, Simon Ssenyonga , the 3rd runner up, who had been declared to have gotten zero votes from the College was found to have received over 32 votes from the same polling station.
It was also observed that at one polling station at the school of education, 13 ballot booklets each containing 50 ballot papers resulting into 650 votes were used.
However results indicated that Mwotta had over 800 votes at the same polling station leading to a variance of 150 votes unaccounted for.
It is against this backdrop that the election tribunal deemed it fit to cancel results from the school of Education, and ordered for a re-election in the same school.
According to the dean of students Cyriaco Kabagambe the secretary to the Guild Election Petition Tribunal noted that there were some anomalies with regard to the electoral process in the School of Education, and ruled that, “the voting in that School should be repeated”.
Others in the race were Ssenyonga Simon -1142 (8.96%),Mandela Nkunda (NRM)495 (3.88%), Umar Nsubuga 463 (3.63%), Ismael Kasozi456 (4.58%), Dick Anomugisha (FDC)380 (2.89%),Brian Nassala 451 (3.54%),Fred Luyinda (Go Forward) 275 (2.16%),Shafik Kalyango124 (0.97%),Dennis kiyingi 77 (0.60%), Sos Peter Nviiri 62 (0.49%) and Nicholas Ssekidde45 (0.35%) respectively.
A similar incident happened in Makerere during the academic year 2008/2009 when the former guild president Shaban Ssenkubuge’s victory was contested and the matter was resolved in high court.
He later became the guild president and since then the college of education had not produced any other guild president.