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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Mnyika winner in Ubungo poll petition

25th May 2012
Ubungo MP John Mnyika (L) embraces his lawyer Edson Mbogoro after Judge Upendo Msuya quashed the case filed by CCM candidate Hawa Ngh’umbi yesterday. (Photo: Omar Fungo)

The High Court yesterday reconfirmed Ubungo Member of Parliament John Mnyika (Chadema), dismissing the petition against the 2010 election results for the constituency, filed by the CCM candidate Hawa Ng’umbi as lacking concrete evidence.

Reading the verdict to a fully packed courtroom, High Court Judge Upendo Msuya, dismissed Ng’humbi’s petition saying it lacked evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the parliamentary election was not free and fair.

The judge said the petitioner had failed to provide concrete evidence noting that the allegations were based on hearsay.

Msuya said that errors identified in the election results forms were human and that the petitioner failed to present substantial evidence that they were material enough to justify nullification of results.

On the computers used, she said the petitioner also failed to provide evidence that the computers used belonged to Mnyika and whether they were verified by the officers in-charge as per the National Elections Act and principles of a free, transparent and fair election.

She said the petitioner failed to get the corroboration of officers and people in the counting room on her protest that the number of people who accompanied Mnyika during the counting of votes were unauthorised and facilitated miscounting of votes as claimed.

“Following the court hearing and following up on the submissions, I dismiss the petition and declare that Mnyika was validly elected for the Ubungo Constituency at the General Election of 31st October 2010 with a majority over his nearest rival, the Petitioner, of 16,198 votes.

In October last year Ng’humbi filed a petition in the High Court to challenge the victory of Mnyika alleging that on 11th day of September 2010, while at a campaign rally at Riverside in the constituency, Mnyika made a false and defamatory allegation against the Petitioner to the effect that she was involved in the illegal and fraudulent sale of a house previously belonging to Umoja wa Wanawake (UWT).

Ng’umbi also alleged that there were serious irregularities in filling in RF 21B forms in that the particulars of the disputed and rejected votes were not provided. Further that the figures of the voters shown in forms RF 21B materially differed from those in the ballot boxes.

She however claimed that during the counting of votes, Mnyika entered into the room with eight unauthorised persons who were then followers of Chadema.

She also claimed that apart from counting the votes the respondent brought his computers which were used by the returning officer in adding up the votes, a decision which produced miscellaneous errors.

The Court ordered the petitioner to pay the costs of the petition to the Attorney General and Returning Officer for Ubungo.

Meanwhile Chadema national chairman, Freeman Mbowe attending the court judgment congratulated Mnyika and urged him to now focus on the challenges facing his voters.

For his part Ezekiel Wenje, Nyamagana MP advised Mnyika to work on his promises to residents of Ubungo and the country at large after being confirmed the winner of the polls.

Chadema said in a statement that it will hold a peaceful rally in Dar es Salaam tomorrow.

It said that police were informed about the rally and demonstrations through a letter dated May 23rd 2012. However during the yesterday’s meeting, police urged Chadema members not to demonstrate to avoid chaos.

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