The newly elected Member of Parliament for Ntoroko county in Ntoroko District Gerald Rwemulikya Ibanda has retained his seat after court dismissed a petition filed against him.
Martin Mugara Bahinduka had gone to court claiming Ibanda who was declared winner of the February 18 elections aftêr contesting on the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) ticket was Congolese and therefore unqualified to contest for any political seat in Uganda.
However, court in Fort Portal dismissed Mugara’s petition with costs saying he had failed to prove that Rwemulikya was Congolese.
In February this year, supporters of Ibanda protested his exclusion from the Ñtoroko county MP race.
The Electoral Commission had disqualified Ibanda from the race on grounds that he was not a Ugandan national.
EC Chairman Dr Badru Kiggundu said the commission had established that Ibanda is a national of the Democratic Republic of Congo and as such, did not qualify to contest in a Ugandan race.
The exclusion was executed in line with section 4(1) of the parliamentary Elections Act of the 2005 (as amended) which stipulates that a person can qualify to be Member of Parliament if he is a citizen of Uganda and a registered voter.
Ibanda holds a DRC National Identity Card, a reference letter from the DRC embassy in Kampala confirming that Ibanda was born in Mitego-DRC and a refugee enumeration letter.
The angry supporters also attacked the home of Mugara, the then incumbent Ntoroko county Member of Parliament in Rwebisengo town.
They accused him of orchestrating their candidates disqualification.
Consequently, EC was forced to reinstate him on the ballot paper.