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Dr Mahanga wins election case to retain House seat

3rd May 2012
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Dr. Makongoro Mahanga

The High Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday threw overboard with costs a petition which sought to nullify 2010 Segerea constituency parliamentary election results in which ruling CCM candidate, Dr. Makongoro Mahanga, won.

In the verdict which was read for almost four hours, High Court Judge Ibrahimu Juma rejected arguments presented by the petitioner in the case, Fred Mpendazoe from Chadema, and upheld Mahanga’s victory in Segerea constituency.

He added that the Court would issue the certificate to certify to the National Electoral Commission Election Director that Mahanga was validly elected and declared an MP, stressing that the election exercise in the disputed constituency was free, fair and legal.

The Judge noted that the petitioner had failed to bring in reliable and key witnesses who would have given correct information on what had really transpired during the elections. “It is the duty of the main petitioner (Chadema aspirant) to provide proof….this is very important in election petitions like this,” said Juma.

Speaking outside the court, Mpendazoe said that, he was not satisfied with the results, saying that he would appeal against it tomorrow. However, he said he would consult his party and his lawyer before doing so.

“I’m not satisfied with the answers, as the Judge based [his ruling] on evidence which was weak for us and left the other evidence that was to be strong for us” he explained.

The judgement was delivered amid tight security and a huge crowd of Chadema and CCM supporters outside. Meanwhile, some journalists from different media houses were rejected entrance into the court room.

After the ruling, the winner, Dr Mahanga, left the court room through the door normally used by judges and he was whisked from the court premises by people who accompanied him.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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