Wanyoto loses election petition appeal

Lydia Wanyoto Mutende lost her appeal in which she was challenging the victory of the Mbale City Woman MP, Connie Nakayenze Galiwango her rival.

Wanyoto ran against Nakayenze in the January 2021 polls and lost heavily. She polled 25,276 votes against 40,729 garnered by Nakayenze.

She went ahead and protested the poll results and petitioned Mbale High court alleging electoral malpractice including intimidating presiding officers and tampering with the result declaration forms. She went ahead and asked the High court to nullify the election results and order for a re-election.

However, Justice Andrew Bashaija dismissed the petition with costs on grounds that the applicant had failed to prove her claims warranting the nullification of the poll results.

Dissatisfied with the High court decision, Wanyoto through her lawyers filed a notice of Appeal on September 30, 2021, and lodged a memorandum of appeal on October 28, 2021, to include additional evidence.

But by the time Wanyoto filed her appeal, it was too late.She told the court that she was delayed by the failure of the court to avail her and her lawyers a record of the proceedings of the High court proceedings to enable her to draft the appeal.

“That without a judgment and record, Wanyoto had no basis on which to base her criticism of the trial court,” argued Wanyoto’s lawyer. Wanyoto applied to amend her memorandum of appeal and validation of the same which the court granted.

A panel of three justices comprising of Elizabeth Musoke, Christopher Madrama and Eva Luswata dismissed the appeal on Monday, citing that by filing the application, Wanyoto and her counsel conceded that both her memorandum and record of appeal were filed out of time.

The panel hence struck off the appeal with no orders as to costs. Galiwango who now retains her seat was in jubilation following the court decision.
She said that Wanyoto will have to pay costs as directed by the lower court because she invested a lot in the case, especially in gathering evidence.

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