By Denis Wetondo
Lydia Wanyoto yesterday 1st September 2021 shocked Court when she accused her opponent, Connie Galiwango of having pocketed both the District Police Commander and Returning Officer during ballot tallying early this year.
Wanyoto made the allegations while responding to cross examination by Galiwango’s lawyers in an election petition hearing she lodged against Galiwango. Wanyoto lost to Galiwango in the race for Mbale Woman City Member of Parliament in the recently concluded general elections.
Wanyoto stood for the position on the NRM ticket but lost to Galiwango who stood as an Independent having controversially lost to Wanyoto at the Party Primaries. Wanyoto is also a member of NRM’s CEC.
The hearing is taking place at the Mbale High Court presided over by Justice, Peter Byabashaija.
While answering questions from Counsel Medard Ssegona who represented Galiwango in a cross examination, Wanyoto Mutende claimed her opponent took over security at the Tally Center and the Electoral commission.
Wanyoto claimed that on 14th January, the Election Day, Galiwango and her supporters committed many Electoral offences including beating her agents, obstructing her supporters from voting and altering results on Declaration Forms.
When asked by Counsel Medard Ssegona as to why she didn’t report the cases to police, she said the DPC then, Fred Ahimbisibwe was compromised by Galiwango and he continuously ignored her.
She also claimed that Connie Galiwango gathered her supporters who stormed the tally center making the environment favorable to the incumbent.
Wanyoto also claimed the Returning Officer for Mbale City, Charles Robero was under the instructions of Connie Galiwango and that despite her raising several complaints during the tallying, she was ignored.
“I remember they started counting the votes for the Presidential candidates so by the time they came to Members of Parliament it was already dark and that’s when hell broke loose,” Wanyoto told court.
In another twist, Wanyoto has requested court to summon Ambassador Hassan Galiwango and Electoral Commission Returning Officer for Mbale City Charles Robero as her witnesses.
This was after her cross examination and she was asked to name her witnesses for cross examination.
However, argued that Ambassador Hassan Galiwango was on diplomatic mission in Nairobi Kenya and that he may not be able to make it.
The Judge in response to the request said he will decide on the matter tomorrow (Friday) whether to or not include Ambassador Hassan Galiwango among the witnesses.