National Resistance Movement (NRM) parliamentary candidate for Kibale County, Kamwenge district, Cuthbert Abigaba Mirembe could sail through unopposed after the Electoral Commission (EC) disqualified his challenger, Gibson Agaba of the National Unity Platform (NUP).
Amanya was notified about his disqualification on Wednesday by the Kamwenge district returning officer, George William Magezi.
According to Magezi, Amanya was duly nominated on October 15 after he fulfilled the requirements.
Magezi, however, says that after his nomination, two of the voters, Charles Kakuru and William Ainomugisha who signed his nomination forms, petitioned the EC Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama, claiming that one of Amanya’s agents obtained their signatures after deceiving them that he was an NRM aspirant.
The EC summoned Amanya and the two petitioners to its headquarters in Kampala where they reportedly said that Amanya’s agent had lied to them that he is an NRM aspirant.
Magezi also says that Amanya admitted the signatures were obtained by an agent and it could be possible that the two were misinformed about his party.
It is against this background that Byabakama nullified Amanya’s candidature, since it contravened Section 11(1) (a) of the Parliamentary Elections Act which requires that nomination of a candidate to be made by two registered voters appearing in person tendering to the returning officer.
“That the decision of the Returning Officer, Kamwenge District nominating Mr Gibson Amanya is hereby reversed,” reads Byamukama’s letter to Kakuru dated November 4.
Byamukama indicated that his decision was on powers he derives from Article 61(1) (f) of the Constitution of Uganda which empowers him to reverse the decision of the returning officer.
But Amanya says that when he was summoned by Byabakama about two weeks ago, he went and the petitioners said that no one misinformed them about his party and that it is him who sought the signatures and not his agent.
“The said petitioners told the Electoral Commission that they knew me very well. So I asked them what their problem was but they didn’t tell me anything. As a result, the commission asked us to leave and promised to get back to me. I got shocked yesterday when I learnt that my candidature had been nullified,” Amanya said.
Amanya expressed shock that the EC could deliver such a ruling in his absence.
“I went to the field myself and collected the signatures myself. Do you want to say that the petitioners did not know the NRM flag bearer? They knew me very well. Someone must be trying to use them against me,” Amanya said.
He said that he is now liaising with his lawyers to seek court redress, adding that it could be a planned move to frustrate his political ambitions since radio stations in Kamwenge have been also denying him a platform.
When contacted, Kakuru said he could not give an elaborate comment about the matter because he had not yet received Byabakama’s letter.
But Magezi said that all the parties are aware of the decision by the Electoral Commission and the aggrieved can appeal it in court.