Constitutional Court Readies Verdict on MP Fox Odoi’s Case Against NRM

Mixed reactions have emerged from a recent meeting between NRM Secretary General, buy Justine Kasule Lumumba and party members who lost in the primary elections at the party secretariat.

The meeting came after the party media task force led by Mike Ssebalu announced the release of funds to all NRM flag bearers in different elective positions, website like this to help facilitate their nomination and campaigns.

Ssebalu told journalists that the flag bearers are now under the care of the party, and called on registrars to pick the facilitation fees.

However, this has raised a lot of anxiety amongst members who believe that their victory was robbed. These too demanded to be compensated by the party leadership.

A group of 11 members of the Executive members of an “NRM League of concerned Parliamentary and District Candidates 2015” led by Didas Shingiro Kayunga met the party Secretary General demanding for the party chairman’s intervention before they seek to be nominated as independent candidates.

“We are representing the disgruntled and disoriented members whose victory was robbed due to the irregularities that were exhibited in the party primaries,” noted Shingiro who stood for MP flag bearer and lost in Mityana North.

“Our meeting with the Secretary General was to table our grievances before her and she promised to forward them to the party chairman in time,” Shingiro said.

Didas Shingiro is an Executive member of an “NRM League of concerned Parliamentary and District Candidates 2015

Didas Shingiro is an Executive member of the “NRM League of concerned Parliamentary and District Candidates 2015

“We however maintain that we are NRM members and our presidential candidate is president Museveni; we shall continue to canvass support for him. I for one won’t stand as an independent but other members are willing and ready to do so.”

Ahmed Katerega Musaazi who lost in Kyadondo South constituency told Chimpreports that other members were requesting to be included in the party campaign task force while others demanded for compensation.

“We spent a lot of resources during the party primaries and our victory was stolen; we are not simply giving up; the party must compensate us since it’s responsible for irregularities that were registered,” Kateregga said.

Steven Danstan Busulwa who lost in Busiro South and Wintonza Juma who stood in Gomba East constituency all expressed readiness to be nominated as independent candidates
The Constitutional Court has heard and concluded the case in which West Budama North MP Fox Odoi is challenging the actions of his party [NRM]’s Electoral Commission for reviewing its own decision in which it declared Richard Othieno Okoth who was the run up in the party primary elections as the winner as opposed to Odoi who was initially declared winner.

The panel of three justices led Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma said they will give their ruling on notice. Justice Kavuma added that he has considered the urgency of the matter and that a ruling will be given any time since nominations are slated for Wednesday and Thursday.

During the hearing, buy Herbert Byenkya, a lawyer who represented NRM, asked the court to dismiss Fox Odoi’s application for temporary injunction, arguing that the party just volunteers to sponsor a candidate and for this case its sponsoring Okoth and not Fox Odoi.

Mr Byenkya went on to argue that Fox Odoi can go ahead and contest as an independent if he wants to exercise his right to participate in the coming parliamentary elections whose nominations start on Wednesday.

The NRM lawyer went on to explain that Fox Odoi was first declared winner by the returning officer when some of the results had not yet arrived.

He added that upon conducting a vote recount which was an administrative decision, it happened that his run up Okoth was the right winner.

On the contrary, Dr James Akampumuza who represented Fox Odoi, asked court to issue an interim injunction against the NRM Electoral Commission from denying his client the right to represent the party as its flag bearer for West Budama North constituency.

Dr Akampumza argued that if his client stood as an independent as suggested by the NRM lawyer, he would automatically lose his NRM membership as per the NRM new rules and regulations.

Further, Dr Akampumuza submitted that the chairperson of the NRM electoral commission Dr Tanga Odoi is witch-hunting his client because he had also shown interest in contesting for the same position but pulled out later.

The former presidential legal advisor also in his petition before court, argues that once a candidate is declared successful under regulation 20 (20) by the respective registrar or returning officer who are delegated by the NRM electoral commission to perform their duty on its behalf, the commission becomes functus officio (hands being tied) and that subsequent actions by it is void and contravenes article 28 (1) and 44 c of the constitution.

The Tanga Odoi-led electoral commission shortly after the messy party primaries for flag bearers of directly elected MPs, district women MPs and local council V that took place on October 27, the commission under regulation 20 (21) started receiving many petitions from those who felt cheated.


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