donderdag 10 oktober 2013

Het ‘Supreme Court’ zegt: geen verkiezingsfraude

In The New Times is ruim baan gegeven aan de perikelen rond de verkiezing van de zetel die bestemd is voor mensen met een handicap.

In het artikel van 23 augustus werden de kaarten nog op de borst gehouden. Op de dag na de verkiezing van 18 september wordt echter al melding gemaakt van een ‘heated campaign’. Een paar dagen later barstte werkelijk de bom. De verliezer beschuldigde de winnaar Gaston Rusiha van verkiezingsfraude. Het hooggerechtshof moest eraan te pas komen. Die besliste echter op 26 september dat de aanklager geen bewijs had geleverd en dat zijn eis dus is afgewezen. Alles liep uiteindelijk dus met een sisser af, de verkozene is rechtmatig gekozen.

Tsja, wat moeten we daarvan denken. Is Séverin Rwamucyo Gisaza gewoon een slecht verliezer, of zit er toch ergens een addertje onder het gras?

We are ready – candidates for special groups
·         By Eugene Kwibuka
·         August 23, 2013

Gaston Rusiha, the head of the National Council for the Disabled, who is one of the 15 candidates eyeing the slot for the disabled, justified his reluctance to talk about what he intended to do for this special interest group, arguing that his competitors might copy his agenda.

 “It is still my secret,” he said on Tuesday, a day after NEC released the final list of 410 candidates who will tussle it out in various categories. “I’m keeping my message for the right time and looking forward to addressing the Electoral College once campaigns have kicked off.”

Candidates in this category are bidding to replace outgoing representative Pierre Claver Rwaka, who is not seeking re-election in this category but rather appears on the list of RPF candidates.

Disabled persons send their council boss to Chamber of Deputies
·         By Edwin Musoni
·         September 19, 2013

A disabled person casting his ballot yesterday. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira
Gaston Rusiha has beaten 15 other candidates to the single slot reserved for the representative of persons with disabilities in the Chamber of Deputies. 

Rusiha casting his ballot yesterday. The National Council for Persons with Disabilities chief will now represent his interest group in Parliament. The New Times/T. Kisambira
Rusiha, the president of the National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), yesterday, had the biggest say in the ballots of the 252 people who make up the electoral college of the disabled persons, polling 100 votes (41.84 per cent). The polling was preceded by a heated campaign.
Pierre Claver Rwaka, who held the seat in the August House, opted not to contest to represent the disabled persons this time round, preferring to vie for one of the 53 directly contested slots on the Rwanda Patriotic Front ticket.
However, Rwaka missed out on returning to House in the Monday poll.
Rusiha’s nearest challenger, Séverin Rwamucyo Gisaza, scooped 63 votes (26.36 per cent).
Speaking after the vote, the MP-elect said he had been eying the seat for the last 10 years but had to bide his time. 
“With my vast experience, I am going to Parliament to make an impact in the welfare of the disabled persons. My predecessors did a good job but there is need for sustainability and improvement and that’s what I am going to be doing,” said the excited Rusiha.
Pledge to interest group
Earlier, while campaigning, Rusiha listed a number of projects he intends to address while in Parliament, including pushing government to allocate 5 per cent of the civil service jobs to disabled persons. 
“This policy is in place but no one follows it, I will ensure that it is implemented and that is how we will increase jobs for the disabled persons,” said the MP-elect. 
He added that there are several national policies for the disabled that need to be updated and aligned with EDPRS 2.
“This will be my primary responsibility. There is also need to have special driving permits for disabled people and also having a ministry in charge of disabled persons, I will advocate for these things to be put in place.”
Only one seat is reserved for the disabled in the 80-member Chamber of Deputies.

Parliamentary polls: Loser challenges PLWDs winner
·         By Eugene Kwibuka
·         September 24, 2013

Rusiha votes during the just concluded polls. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.
Gaston Rusiha’s election as the country’s next Member of Parliament (MP) to represent people with disabilities has been disputed by his closest challenger, Séverin Rwamucyo Gisaza.

The latter petitioned the Supreme Court on Friday, contesting results from the legislative polls in the special category of people living with disabilities held on Wednesday. Campaigns by candidates seeking this seat were held on the same day.

Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) are allocated one seat in the Chamber of Deputies, which is competed for through the college system.

A source at Judiciary told The New Times yesterday that Rwamucyo has alleged that Rusiha peddled influence on the Electoral College to win the seat and that he has proof that the winner paid voters.

“He says that Rusiha peddled influence and paid to win votes,” the source said, confirming that the Supreme Court has indeed received Rwamucyo’s petitioned.

No confirmation

Rusiha, is also the president of the National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), garnered the most votes from the 241 members of the college, earning 100 votes (41.84 per cent) while Rwamucyo scooped 63 votes (26.36 per cent).

NEC announced Rusiha as tthe winner in the preliminary results. However, on Friday, he did not feature on the list of MPs-elect announced by the president of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Prof. Kalisa Mbanda.

“We will not proclaim the winner of the seat for the disabled because some issues have emerged,” Mbanda simply said at the announcement of the final results from the elections on Friday.

The NEC boss only announced 79 MPs-elect, one short of the full House of 80.

Rusiha refuted the allegations that he unfairly won the elections, insisting in an interview on Friday that he is the legitimate winner of teh poll.

The Supreme Court has requested Rwamucyo to provide more evidence about his allegations before it can issue its verdict, the source at Judiciary said.

The court has five working days to deliver a judgment after such an elections related complaint is filed.

An official at NEC said the commission will implement what the court will decide between confirming Rusiha as an MP and conducting another election for the representative of people living with disabilities in the Lower House.

Contact email: eugene.kwibuka[at]

I commend the way things go. Who ever says Rwanda is undemocratic is a 'nut'and can hung. Few countris do such! For transparency, let there be a re-run. 04:53:04 Tuesday 24th, September 2013 Arusha - Robert

could be true that man is fond of fraud. I wonder how Rwamucyo may forge that accusation knowing that he may be liable for liabilities if proved guilty himself. 11:22:23 Tuesday 24th, September 2013 KIGALI - KENETH

Supreme Court to rule on PLWDs poll dispute today
·         Jean de la Croix Tabaro
·         September 26, 2013

Rusiha at the Supreme Court yesterday. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira
The Supreme Court will today decide whether or not Gaston Rusiha legitimately won the parliamentary seat reserved for people with disabilities (PLWDs) last week.
On Friday, Severin Gisaza Rwamucyo, Rusiha’s closest challenger, petitioned court claiming that the defendant had bribed his way to victory.
He also accused Rusiha of influence-peddling.
Rusiha is currently the president of the Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPDs), and Rwamucyo charges that the former abused his position in bid to win over voters in the September 18 poll.
Rusiha and Rwamucyo were among 15 contestants who were in the running for the Lower House seat and were voted for by members of an Electoral College representing people with disabilities.
The Electoral College was composed of 241 voters, with Rusiha collecting 100 votes (41.84 per cent) and Rwamucyo 63 votes (26.36 per cent).
On Wednesday, last week, the National Electoral Commission (NEC), in its preliminary results, declared Rusiha as winner of the contest but did not include his name in the list of the MPs-elect unveiled during the announcement of the final results on Friday.
Yesterday, Chief Justice Sam Rugege read out Rwamucyo’s written submission in which he accused Rusiha of entrusting Emmanuel Ndayisaba, the NCPDs executive secretary, of bribing the voters with view to sway them in his boss’ favour.
In his submission, Rwamucyo also charged that Rusiha had sent a letter to representatives of the council at the provincial level directing them to vote for him.
He also alleged that Rusiha sent money to voters using various channels, including mobile money and Tigo cash platforms.
Rusiha rejected all the allegations in his own written submission, also read out by CJ Rugege.
Neither Rwamucyo nor Rusiha were allowed to speak in court yesterday in keeping with the rules concerning such petitions.
The plaintiff did not challenge the conduct of the elections, according to state attorney Epimaque Rwango.
Court will deliver its verdict today at 4p.m and its decision will be final.

Court says Rusiha duly elected to represent PLWDs
·         By James Karuhanga
·         September 27, 2013

The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that Gaston Rusiha legitimately won the parliamentary seat reserved for persons living with disabilities (PLWDs) in the recently concluded parliamentary poll.

Last week, Rusiha’s closest challenger, Severin Gisaza Rwamucyo, petitioned the court, claiming that the former offered money to some College Electorate and engaged in influence peddling to win the polls.

He accused Rusiha of using his position as the president of the Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPDs) to win over voters during the September 18 election.

Pronouncing the verdict, Chief Justice Sam Rugege said Rwamucyo’s claims, including an allegation that Rusiha paid, by cheque, Rwf500,000 to the Electoral College, were not backed by empirical evidence.

“The court finds the evidence presented lacking and cannot help prove anything. In addition, the burden of proof lies on the accuser and when he fails to do so, he loses,” pronounced Prof. Rugege, who led a nine-person panel of justices who heard the case.

Prof. Rugege said the plaintiff’s case was baseless and that the poll for PLWDs cannot be annulled as he had requested.

The Supreme Court’s decision is final.

Rusiha and Rwamucyo were among 15 candidates in the running for the Chamber of Deputies seat voted for by an Electoral College of PLWDs that comprised 241 voters.

Rusiha obtained 100 votes (41.84 per cent) and Rwamucyo 63 votes (26.36 per cent).

Last week, the National Electoral Commission, declared Rusiha winner of the contest but did not include his name in the list of the MPs-elect unveiled during the announcement of the final results Friday.

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