IN THE PHOTO ABOVE: Hon. Christine Ndiwalana with one of her lawyers Abubaker Ssekanjako after Masaka High Court Judge Katunguka Ketra dismissed a ground in the petition against her in which a voter one Tushemerirwe Anita alleged that the MP bribed voters with liquor ending up casting their votes in unconscious minds
HIGH COURT – MASAKA
THE election petition filed against newly elected Bukomansimbi North legislator Dr. Nandagire Christine Ndiwalana by Real Estates dealer Haji HB Matovu’s wife Ruth Katushabe who was badly defeated in the January 14th 2021 Parliamentary elections, is such an interesting petition!
Katushabe was the area MP in the 10th Parliament and Parliamentary Score card ranked her as one of the worst performing members of Parliament. This is believed to have been one of the major reasons, why Bukomansimbi North voters refused to renew her contract in the recently concluded Parliamentary elections.
In her election petition No.005 of 2021, Ruth Katushabe who contested on NRM ticket declared herself the winner something which caused her problems during cross examination by Hon. Ndiwalana’s lawyer.
Hon. Ndiwalana’s counsel Medard Lubega Sseggona of Lukwago & Co. Advocates cornered her to tell court how many votes did each of the contestants get making her to sweat plasma.
A soft speaking Sseggona who is known to be among the best lawyers if it gets to cross examination said, “Madam Ruth Katushabe, congratulations upon winning Bukomansimbi North County elections. How many were you in the race and please may you tell this Honourable court, how many votes each candidate got?”
In her response, Katushabe who might have not been coached well by her lawyers of M/S Nsubuga & Co. Advocates replied, “My Lord, Nandagire Christine Ndiwalana got 9617 votes, me (Ruth Katushabe) got 6599 votes, Lubyayi Iddi Kisiki an independent obtained 4238 votes, Kateregga Muhammad (JEEMA) got 3076, Kawooya Yasin (DP) got 251 votes, Namakula Racheal (Independent) got 182 votes and Ssebuggwawo Yusufu (Independent) polled 47 votes.”
Counsel Sseggona who is Busiro East Constituency MP shot again; “From what you have just told this court, madam Katushabe, who of the candidates got the highest number of votes?”, She replied, “Nandagire Christine Ndiwalana,”sending the whole court into prolonged laughter!
“Now why are you wasting court’s time if you also know that the election was won by Hon. Christine Ndiwalana? So you want this court to declare you who was in the second position that you won and put aside Hon. Ndiwalana who was massively elected by the people of Bukomansimbi North as their Member of Parliamemt? Is that what brought you before this court?” Counsel Sseggona asked. Ruth Katushabe went silent!
Katushabe’s written submission reads, “That your petitioner (Katushabe) states that the election was held on the 14th day of January 2021, wherein your Petitioner (NRM) together with Lubyayi Iddi Kisiki (Independent), Kateregga Muhammad (JEEMA), Kawooya Yasin (DP), Namakula Racheal (Independent) and Ssebuggwawo Yusufu (Independent) were other candidates for the race of Member of Parliament Bukomansimbi North County Constituency, Bukomansimbi district).
Katushabe did not mention Nandagire Christine Ndiwalana as one of the contestants. But when Counsel Sseggona asked her to tell court who of the candidates scored what, she clearly said Nandagire Christine Ndiwalana obtained the highest number of votes.
Katushabe’s submission reads; “By its declaration dated 15th January 2021, the Returning officer of the 1st Respondent (Electoral Commission) returned Nandagire Christine Ndiwalana (who was not validly nominated), as validly elected Member of parliament for Bukomansimbi North Constituency instead of your petitioner (Ruth Katushabe) who won the election with 6599 votes while the 1st Runner up was Lubyayi Iddi Kisiki obtained 4238 votes.”
To Ruth Katushabe, this is why she was aggrieved and petitioned court.
In her reply, Hon. Nandagire Christine Ndiwalana asked court to dismiss Katushabe’s petition with costs saying it has no basis, she was lawfully nominated, elected and declared winner for the seat of Bukomansimbi North County having obtained the highest number of votes in the race.
Ndiwalana denied allegations that Ruth Katushabe won the election and that, “Such allegations are illusionary and not premised on facts and law but imaginative fantasies.”
THREE ISSUES FRAMED BY COURT FOR TRIAL
These are; Whether Nandagire Christine was validly nominated and elected as MP, whether she made a false statement to the returning officer to gain nomination and remedies.
Nandagire told court that her nomination paper was valid and properly presented to the returning officer and Ruth Katushabe never complained through out the campaign period.
She stated that, “I obtained the nomination forms from the Electoral Commission, properly filled and submitted the same to the Returning officer of Bukomansimbi district who in turn, lawfully nominated me and gave me a certificate of nomination to contest for Member of Parliament for Bukomansimbi North County. The petitioner lost the election to me and I was validly returned and published in the gazzette as the winner by the Electoral Commission (1st Respondent).”
Ndiwalana contends that, all the time of nomination and election, she had the requisite academic qualifications to stand for member of Parliament to wit; Certificate of Enrolled Midwife from St. Francis Hospital NsambyaTraining School which is equivalent to formal education of advanced level standard.
DETAILS ABOUT HON. NDIWALANA’S ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS
From what this news website has gathered, Christine Ndiwalana sat for O’level examinations in 1992 and obtained Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) from examination body, UNEB in the name of Nandagire Chriss.
Her father got sick and could not cater for his daughter’s shool fees at HSC. So he branched her off to St. Francis Hospital Nsambya Training School where she was awarded with a certificate in Midwife in the name of Nandagire Christine. Her father Ndiwalana, later succumbed to Cancer! In fact she adopted her father’s name Ndiwalana because of the love she had for her late dad.
From Nsambya, Nandagire enrolled at Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi where she was awarded a Diploma in Guidance and Counselling.
She then studied Clinical Medicine and later went for Medicine and Surgery at Islamic University In Uganda (IUIU), a course which took her a duration of Four and half years!
Nandagire who is said to be owning a hospital in Kampala told court that, before nomination to contest for Member of Parliament, she submitted the above mentioned documents to the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) and obtained a certificate of completion of formal education of advanced level standard or its equivalent as according to the Parliamentary Election Act 2005.
The National Council for Higher Education certified that Nandagire holds a certificate of enrolled Midwife which is equivalent to formal education of advanced level standard.
ABOUT VARIANCE IN NAME
Hon. Ndiwalana told court that upon realizing the variances in her name, she consulted her lawyers of Lukwago & Co. Advocates who advised her, whose advise she verily believed to be true, that she should swear a statutory declaration and deed poll reconcilling the difference in her name. She formally adopted her current name Nandagire Christine Ndiwalana.
“I swore the statutory declaration in 2017 and deed poll in 2018, years before 2021 elections”. Hon. Ndiwalana told court, diluting the issue of variance in her name, raised by the petitioner Ruth Katushabe.
She put it to the petitioner how she has come to court with dirty hands saying, Ruth Katushabe on various occasions together with her husband, a one HB Matovu violated the electoral laws by bribing voters and intimidating Ndiwalana’s supporters through firing bullets, beatings and other forms of torture, although she said, this did not affect her victory.
High Court in Masaka is expected to give ruling by early next month.