SAMIA Bugwe North MP Stephen Wasike Mugeni has lost his seat. The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the judgment of the High Court and Court of Appeal that nullified Mugeniâ€™s election in December 2006.
â€œThe conclusions by the Court of Appeal were justified. We dismiss with costs to the respondent in this court and in the two courts below,â€ the court ruled.
The court also ruled that Mugeni committed a serious electoral offence when he uttered and circulated defamatory statements in newspapers against his rival, Aggrey Awori, during the campaigns.
â€œWe do not think that the appellant is protected by the Penal Code Act. We are satisfied that the contention of the appellant had no substance.â€ Mugeni cannot, therefore, stand in the constituencyâ€™s by-election until after seven years.
The Chief Justice, Benjamin Odoki, headed the five-justice-coram.
The other members were Justices John Wilson Tsekooko, Joseph Mulenga, George William Kanyeihamba and Bart Katureebe. Awori, who recently joined the NRM, told The New Vision after the judgment that he would stand for the by-election.
Five candidates contested for the Samia Bugwe North seat during the 2006 parliamentary elections.
Mugeni got 19,750 votes and Awori, who was the runner-up, obtained 12,373 votes.
However, prior to the election, Awori, who was the sitting MP of the constituency, petitioned the High Court on grounds that Mugeni was not qualified for nomination since he had not resigned his post as the Busia town treasurer as required by the law.
In November 2005, the deputy Inspector General of Government directed the town clerk to have Mugeni dismissed for breaching the Leadership Code and the Local Governments Financial and Accountability regulations.
Samia Bugwe MP loses seat