The High Court Civil Division has thrown out with costs an election petition filed by a businessman Mukesh Shumuk Babui against Nakawa West Member of Parliament Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi.

Presiding judge Isaak Muwata ruled in favour of Ssenyonyi on grounds that his rival city businessman Shumuk failed to provide satisfactory evidence to back his alleged noncompliance.

Both parties were present in court for the ruling at 12 noon. Ssenyonyi looked confident clad in his red Kitenge suit while Mukesh appeared serious in his white long-sleeved shirt and Khaki trousers.

Ssenyonyi was represented by his lawyer Dennis Atwijukire while Mukhesh was with his lawyer,Edias Asiimwe.

In his ruling, the Judge stated “The alleged noncompliance had not been proved but even if it had, it would not have affected the outcome in a substantive manner…The difference in votes obtained by the winner is 30847 votes… Even if all the votes were in the favour of the petitioner, the winning margin wouldn’t have been affected in a substantial manner. Therefore, I’m unable to set aside the election for the reason that the petitioner has failed to adduce evidence to set aside the election. The petition is dismissed with costs. I uphold the victory of the second respondent as the validly elected member of parliament for Nakawa West constituency,”

A joyous Ssenyonyi speaking after the ruling mocked Shumuk saying his case was weak from the start and he was certain of winning. Shumuk has however vowed to appeal the ruling of the Court.

This ruling means that Ssenyonyi is now the duly elected Member of Parliament for Nakawa West constituency. 

Shumuk dragged the Electoral Commission and Ssenyoynyi to court in March 2021  citing irregularities in the whole election process. Mukesh alleged that EC faulted based on Declaration of Result forms (DR Forms) that were not signed or witnessed by the presiding officers to declare Ssenyonyi winner.

He also stated that Ssenyonyi had been nominated as Joel Besekezi Ssenyonyi while academic records indicated that he is Joel Besekezi.

Ssenyonyi ran for the Nakawa West Parliamentary seat on the National Unity Platform party ticket defeating eleven other contenders.

He polled  31,653 votes followed by his National Resistance Movement-NRM rival, Margaret Zziwa Nantongo came second with 9,450 votes. Mukesh came sixth with 806 votes.

By Rashidah Nakaayi