The Supreme Court is set to deliver its ruling in the petition where former presidential candidate Kyagulanyi Sentamu Robert aka Bobi Wine is seeking leave to amend the main presidential electoral Petition.
Earlier this month, through his lawyers led by Medard Seggona, Bobi wine petitioned the Supreme Court challenging President Yoweri Museveni’s victory in the just concluded January general elections saying that the election was not free and fair. He contended that throughout the campaign period the People of Uganda generally, and more particularly his supporters endured untold suffering, torture, degrading and inhuman treatment on the orders of Gen Museveni. He cited the dark days of 18th and 19th November 2020 which saw over 50 innocent, unarmed citizens murdered in cold blood by the police and military.
The Kyadondo East MP wants to adduce more evidence to support his 26 claims of election fraud, for which he wants president-elect Yoweri Kaguta Museveni annulled.
In the fresh grounds, Bobi contends that Mr Museveni was not qualified as Candidate and could not lawfully Contest in the Presidential Elections being a person in command of military and police contrary to Presidential Elections amendment Act and the Constitutional Amendment.
Appearing before the judges led by Chief justice Owinyi-Dollo, Bobi Wine through his lawyers led by Lubega Medard Sseggona told court that most of the 15 days in which he should have filed the petition, he under house arrest which is why a few aspects of the evidence were left out.
“To date, Bobi Wine’s office of the NUP offices remains under siege by the same respondents. They deny him the freedom, and then come to court and say, notwithstanding the unlawful activities meted out, you should not be granted leave,” Ssegona told court
He told the court that following January elections, Kyagulanyi was placed under house arrest and managed to get himself released after the intervention of the High court when he was left with only five days to prepare his petition and that is the disabling factor.
“The amendment is intended to help this court to effectively adjudicate on all matters of controversy as per the petition,” he said.
The Electoral Commission lawyer (EC) Lawyer Joseph Matsiko however argued that the constitution does not provide for amendment especially when it introduces fresh causes of actions because the time stipulated is cast in stone.
Museveni’s lawyer Ebert Bukenya asked the court not to allow Bobi Wine to drag the court to follow him on a fishing expedition. “The presidential election petitions are guided by a time table with strict time frames and amendment is not part of the events for such a petition.” He said
Attorney General William Byaruhanga said the Election Petition is constitutionally time-bound. “The petitioner has had time to read through my answers and then come up with amendments.” He argued
“Allowing the petitioner to amend the petition will require respondents to file fresh answers and yet the country is waiting for the final confirmation of the elected person. I pray it’s dismissed with costs,” he said.
Other judges in the matter include; Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza, Paul Mugamba, Esther Kisaakye, Stella Arach Amoko, Rubby Opio Aweri, Percy Tuhaise, Mike Chibita and Ezekiel Muhanguzi.
The judgement is set to be delivered later today at 4pm.
On Thursday 14th January, 2021, the Electoral Commission conducted presidential elections where Ugandans exercised their constitutional rights of choosing a president who will lead them through a five year term. Uganda has a total 18,103,603 registered voters and 34,684 polling stations however only 10,350,819 people turned up to vote.
The presidential election which comprised 11 candidates was won by President Yoweri Museveni Tibuhaburwa Kaguta who got 6,042,898 (58.38%). His closest opponent Kyagulanyi Robert Sentamu got 3,631,437 votes (35.08%).