Nyanzi vs Nsereko: With a bye-election, the NUP 'wave' may defeat Nsereko

After the Court of Appeal ordered a fresh hearing of a petition in which Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu is contesting the election of Muhammad Nsereko as the Member of Parliament for Kampala Central, it is feared Nsereko may not survive another National Unity Platform (NUP) 'wave' if the two are to contest again in a bye-election.

Mohamed Nsereko could be in trouble

Nyanzi is the elder brother to the NUP president, Robert Kyagulanyi, who is better known as Bobi Wine.

To reach this verdict, a panel of three justices comprising Geoffrey Kiryabwire, Stephen Musota, and Christopher Gashirabake delivered the ruling after setting aside a high court decision, which dismissed Nyanzi’s petition.

Nyanzi's petition was dismissed by justice Margaret Apiny on grounds of a technicality which involved the fact that Nyanzi failed to serve Nsereko as is required by law.

Nyanzi sued the Electoral Commission, the Kampala returning officer, and Nsereko in March 2021 citing electoral irregularities including voter bribery.

While Nyanzi served the first two respondents, he failed to serve Nsereko who he says ensured he was not served by making himself unavailable.

In their judgment, the Court of Appeal justices ordered that Nyanzi’s petition goes back to the High court and be heard afresh before another judge.

According to the justices, Nyanzi followed the legal and reasonable steps to serve Nsereko.

Nsereko was declared the winner with 16,998 votes while Nyanzi from NUP, the biggest opposition party in Uganda, came second with 15,975 votes.

Nyanzi challenged Nsereko’s victory citing alleged failure by the EC to tally votes as per Electoral laws. He also cited the failure by the presiding officers to submit results from seven polling stations, and inconsistencies in the number of votes presented on the declaration of result forms, et al.

Nsereko was praised for dodging the proverbial NUP wave in the last election, but with discontent rising over the rising costs of living without a corresponding rising standard of living as well as Nsereko’s association with the ruling National Resistance Movement, it is believed that Nsereko will be defeated if the two candidates have re-run election.

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