Former Katerera County MP Hatwib Katoto outside court shortly after his petition was dismissed. PHOTO / FELIX AINEBYOONA
By Felix Ainebyoona
The High court in Mbarara has dismissed an election petition against Katerera Constituency MP, Mr Muhammed Kato, which was filed by his brother Mr Hatwib Katoto.
Court presided over by Justice Moses Kazibwe Kawumi dismissed the petition on Tuesday with costs on grounds that the evidence presented was invalid.
Mr Katoto, the former Member of Parliament for Katerera constituency challenged his elder brother’s victory in the January 2021 election, on grounds that the latter lacked requisite academic documents. He also alleged that there was multiple voting and ballot staffing, voter intimidation and bribery.
In his petition, Katoto had asked court to declare him as the winner or order for a fresh election.
However, Mr Kato’s lawyers Mr Obed Mwebesa and Ronald Tusingwire asked court to dismiss the case since the evidence provided was commissioned by a lawyer whose practicing license had expired.
“The affidavits in support of the petition and the additional affidavits are incurably defective. The jurat was typed and signed independent of the main body in all the affidavits,” Mr Mwebesa said. Advertisement
“In sum, the petition collapses since it is not supported with a valid affidavit. No valid intervention can be premised on Section 14A of the advocates Act to resuscitate what is regarded as a nullity under the law,” Acting Mbarara deputy Registrar, Mr Samuel Twakyire, read Justice Kazibwe’s judgement on Tuesday.
“A certificate of costs for two counsels is awarded to the first respondent (Mr Kato’s lawyers) who shall be paid 80 per cent of the taxed costs. The second respondent (Electoral commission) shall be paid 20 per cent of the taxed costs,” the judge further ruled.
Mr Kato was in January declared winner with 12213votes, followed by Mr Katoto who garnered 9302 votes in a race that attracted four other candidates.
There were six candidates in the Katerera County race seat where Katoto Hatwib with 9302 votes following his elder brother Muhammed Kato NRM candidate with 12213votes, Stephen Matsiko Kiweka polled 583 votes, ANT candidate Ampaire Brian George garnered 62, Ndinawe Daniel scored 328 votes and Kabagamba Swamadu got 139 votes.
Source Daily Monitor.