katuntu

NRM’s Ibaale loses defamation case against Katuntu

By Sania Babirye

The Court of Appeal has this morning dismissed with costs an election appeal by NRMs Daniel Ibaale  that was challenging the victory of  FDC’s Abdul Katuntu as the Bugweri  county member of parliament.

Three justices including the now out-going Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma , Remmy  Kasule  and Richard Buteera have unanimously  upheld   the Jinja high court decision  and confirmed that Hon. Katuntu is the validly elected  Member.

In a ruling read by the  deputy registrar Taddeo  Asiimwe,the  3 justices ruled that   Ibaale was seen leaving Ensulo lodge to go for nomination and this being a statement of fact, they is no way it could have  defamed   the candidature of Ibaale.

The justices also ruled that they could not order a recount because Ibaale did not prove enough evidence to warrant a recount.

The Court dismissed all the twelve grounds that Ibaale had  appealed  for, for  lack of merit and ordered him to pay Katuntu costs of the petition  for both in  Jinja High court  and court of Appeal.

In August 2016, Justice Margaret Mutonyi  dismissed Ibaale’s petition on grounds that it lacked merit  after he failed to adduce sufficient evidence to prove his allegations including defamation.

However being dissatisfied with the ruling, he appealed in the court of appeal.

He accused the judge of not allowing him a chance to file responses to Katuntu’s evidence, were he accused Katuntu of uttering defamatory statements against him  during  campaigns.

Ibaale had also  alleged that Katuntu made defamatory statements to the effect that he was not fit for election as MP because he did not have a  home in Bugweri county Consistency and emerged out of a lodge to go for  nomination.

Ibaale had claimed that  the said words belittled him before the voters to the benefit of Katuntu who was over overwhelmingly  voted with a  winning margin of over 30,000 votes.

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