Blaise Kamugisha, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) flag bearer for chairperson of the National Youth Council (NYC) has been disqualified from the race hours to the NYC elections.
The Electoral Commission (EC) disqualified Kamugisha following a petition by a section of youths led Chris Moses Mufakinanye, accusing Kamugisha, the former national coordinator of defunct crime preventers of being over age and therefore unfit to contest in the youth elections.
The National Youth Council Act describes youth as a person aged between the age of 18 and 30 years. However, the petitioners, basing on the documents that Kamugisha had submitted in lower youth elections argued that he is above the age of 30.
To back-up their petition, the petitioners presented to the EC Kamugisha’s passport and a national identity card that he had submitted during his nominations for Rwencwera village and Kyera parish where he emerged as youth chairperson at both levels. Kamugisha had also used the same documents during the NRM primary election and his nomination for secretary for finance in Isingiro district.
Information on the said documents indicated that he was born on January 6, 1990, which implies that he is 30 years and 10 months old which is far above the upper age limit for a person contesting in a youth election.
However, as the National Youth Council Elections were nearing, Kamugisha rushed to the national identification and registration authority and changed his age sitting that there was an error in data entry. The change was effected on October 28, 2020, after he had participated in different levels of the youth council and committee elections.
Basing on the facts and documents presented during two meetings held on Sunday and Wednesday, the electoral commission was convinced that Kamugisha was not eligible for the post. “In the view of the foregoing, the commission found that Mr. Kamugisha Blaise is over age for the purpose of the national youth committee election,” a letter signed by Justice Simon Byabakama reads in part.
But, although the commission found out that the person in question was not fit to be nominated even in the first stages of the youth council and committee election, they failed to quash results saying that when outcomes of the election are determined, can only be overturned by courts of law.
“Where the outcome of an election has been declared, the commission doesn’t have the mandate to reverse or quash the same on account of any irregularity. this power lies with courts of law,” the EC stated.
Interestingly, the petitioner, Mufakinanye, and Kamugisha are known close friend ever since their golden days at the helm of the crime preventers outfit. Mufakinanye was the spokesperson of the group that had been formed durng the tenure of former Inspector General of police Gen. Kale Kayihura.
Meanwhile, the process of electing members of the national youth council is underway with delegates from different parts of the country converged at London college of St Lawrence, Maya in Wakiso district.