By Aggrey Twesigye
Hatwib Katoto the former Member of Parliament for Katerera Constituency has withdrawn an electoral case against his elder brother Kato Muhammad.
The withdrawal follows a consensus agreement between the two brothers who contested against each other in the January 2021 polls that saw Muhammad Kato emerge winner with 12,213 votes against Hatwib Katoto’s 9,302 votes.
In 2021, Katoto rushed to Mbarara High Court to challenge Kato’s victory, he however lost the case that was before Justice Moses Kawumi.
In his petition, Katoto had challenged his elder brother’s victory on grounds that the latter lacked requisite academic documents. He also alleged that there was multiple voting and ballot staffing, voter intimidation and bribery.
Katoto therefore wanted court to declare him as the winner or order for a fresh election.
However, on September 21,2021, Moses Kazibwe Kawumi dismissed the application, saying the petitioner had filed additional affidavits introducing new grounds.
He explained that the new affidavits filed on August 9th 2021 illegally introduced new matters like alleged donation of culverts by Kato, an electric pole at Kanywero church of Uganda, bribery at Katokoni and other forms of malpractices, which amounted to a departure from pleadings and were unacceptable in the high court.
Katoto after losing the the case in the high court,he opted for the court of appeal challenging the high court ruling through his lawyers of Lukwago and company advocates raising five grounds saying that the trial judge had erred in the hearing of his petition
He said that judge Moses Kawumi erred in law when he removed nine affidavits filed out of time which caused Justice miscarriage.
However on Monday morning while at Mbarara high Court, the two parties together with their legal teams held talks presided over by Eric Sabiiti the electoral Commission lawyer before Esther Nambayo the Mbarara high Court judge endorsed the consensus agreement.
Addressing journalists in Mbarara city Hatwib Katoto said that he decided to withdraw case for sake of the people of Katerera constituency. He however revealed that he will be contesting in 2026.
Muhammad Kato the Member of Parliament for Katerera appreciated Katoto’s act as it’s directed for the unity of Katerera people.
Eric Sabiiti the mediator for the two parties revealed that each party agreed to meet its own costs,
“Whoever engaged a lawyer should pay the lawyer, even myself I should be able to meet my own costs because the moment you bring costs you are surely shutting people from mediating, so we wouldn’t want to make it as a condition to frustrate the mediation,” Sabiiti explained.