As Democratic Party’s Stephen Ssekigozi’s warms up to grab the new vacant Busiro South constituency seat after winning a High Court petition on Friday, MP-elect Peter Ssematimba has vowed to fight to the last minute.
Mr. Ssematimba of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) according to Court, was not academically dully verified by the National Council for Higher education.
In his statement to supporters seen by EagleOnline, Sematimba vowed to file his appeal on Monday and hopes to legally remain a legislator throughout his court appeal process.
He said: “I am very sorry for the bad news we got from court yesterday. However, not all is lost. On Monday I am filing my appeal at the Court of Appeal. We’re also informing the Clerk of Parliament of my appeal on Monday. By doing this, I will legally remain the Honorable MP of Busiro South throughout my court appeal process.
“Let no one lie to you therefore that I’m no longer our MP. The truth, is I am the MP and I will remain so throughout the new appeal court process.
“Let me assure you also that I/we are going to win the appeal, in Jesus’ name.
“So be strong, and have faith. The victory is ours in Jesus’ name… and I am still the Hon. MP of Busiro South. I will remain so too. Cheers.
Mr Sekigozi, in his petition filed in court, says Mr Ssematimba only holds a certificate issued by the East African Examinations Council in 1978, which cannot be equated to an Advanced Level certificate, the minimum requirement for nomination in parliamentary elections. He also sued the Electoral Commission for allegedly conniving with Ssematimba to flout several sections relating to the Parliamentary Elections Act.
On the basis of Mr. Ssematimba’s claim to being qualified with a Diploma in Engineering and Electronics which he claimed to have obtained from the Pacific Coast Institute in USA, the NCHE granted him a certificate of Advanced Level equivalent to enable Mr Ssematimba participates in the Busiro South Constituency parliamentary elections.
NCHE executive director, Prof John Asibo told court that the error on his Advanced Diploma in Technology from the International College of Excellency 2009 did not touch on the authority of Mr Sematimba’s award.
“Ssematimba’s certificate of equivalence shows that the council considered three academic qualifications yet when printing out, it indicated four qualifications,” he explained.
The witness maintained that the fourth qualification was not considered because it was a transcript upon which Mr Sematimba was admitted to Asuza Pacific University.
However High Court Judge Lydia Mugambe blamed the council of proceeding to issue the certificate without verifying the validity of his papers.
Ssematimba’s political journey spanning 11 years has been a tumultuous one, with the media proprietor-cum pastor having previously failed to become the Mayor of Kampala.