By Faustine Odeke
THE state minister for Lands who is also Tororo woman MP Sarah Achieng Opendi and Budama south MP Jacob Oboth Oboth have both lost their parliamentary seats.
High Court judge Rugadya Atwooki delivered the devastating fate of the two legislators in two separate judgments on Friday.
The judge sitting in Tororo faulted the MPs on grounds that there was non compliance with electoral laws, bribery and gross malpractices which affected the final outcome of the results.
Achieng who polled 41,165 votes was jointly sued with the Electoral Commission by Keziah Nyaketch Ochwo who got 33,486 votes.
In his ruling, the judge also ordered the Electoral Commission to conduct fresh elections for the two constituencies.
Justice Rugadya said a total 8144 voters from the 17 polling stations were disfranchised when their results were not included in the final declaration forms yet there was a difference of 7,679 votes between Achiengâ€™s and Nyaketch Oworâ€™s tally of results.
The judge also ruled that the election process was flawed with bribery.
Among the evidence presented to court by Nyaketch Ochwoâ€™s lawyer, Aggrey Bwire, it was alleged that a campaign agent of Achieng bribed one voter named Agnes Achwo with Shs 2000 to vote for his candidate at Akadoit polling station.
The existence of bribery is one of the grounds for setting aside an election under Parliamentary Elections Act.
The judge also faulted the election returning officer for messing up the polling exercise by under tallying the results of the petitioner contrary to what was contained in the declaration forms.
He cited Akworot polling station where the petitioner got 230 votes but a tally of 30 was recorded, Nyasiringe where the petitioner polled 200 votes but 27 were tallied.
At Morikiswa pollings station, 150 voted were polled for the petitioner but only 5 votes were tallied while at Namwenda Polling station, she got 230 votes but only 1 vote was tallied.
Achieng said she will appeal against the judgment. She blamed the Electoral Commission for messing up the elections.
â€˜Itâ€™s a pity the electoral commission decided to mess up my elections, I am not shaken and I will appeal against the judgmentâ€™ Achieng said.
Nyaketch Ochwo said God had helped her regain a victory she was robbed of.
Meanwhile Oboth Obothâ€™s election was challenged by former state minister for Labour, Dr. Emmanuel Otaala.
Oboth Oboth who secured 17,410 votes was also jointly sued with Electoral Commission.
Atwooki stated that non compliance with the electoral laws actually affected the outcome of result from Budama south after results of 2913 disfranchised voters from six polling stations were not included in the finally declaration forms.
The judge said with the difference of only 1000 votes these results could have affected the outcome of the final results.
He blamed the Electoral Commission for failure to control the ballot papers and ordered the Commission to pay costs of the petition.