Former National Unity Platform Presidential (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine has withdrawn the presidential electoral petition after the Supreme Court declined to receive pieces of evidence.
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%).
Earlier this month, 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.
Last week the Supreme Court declined to receive over 200 pieces of evidence from his lawyers who were led by Anthony Wameli. The court registrar Ssali Harriet Lukwago said the Supreme Court could not receive the affidavits because they were filed beyond stipulated time as agreed during the pre-hearing session held on Thursday last week.
“Among the rejected evidence included the affidavits of the NUP secretary general Lewis Lubongoya, videos of pre-ticket ballots, and evidence of various polling stations where the incumbent got 100%. At Lwaweba polling station where they claim that Museveni got 100% seven of my relatives who polls from that station didn’t vote, two pregnant women were in labour ward pregnant and two were arrested,” he said earlier today.
A week ago, Supreme Court chaired by the chief Justice Alfonso Owiny-Dollo dismissed the MPs petition where he sought to adduce more grounds to support his 26 claims of election fraud, for which he wants president-elect Yoweri Kaguta Museveni annulled.
In the fresh grounds, Bobi contended 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
In tandem, the MP asked Justice Owiny Dollo, Mike Chibita to back off from hearing the matter because of a clear conflict of interest. He said Chief Justice represented Museveni as his lawyer in the presidential petition filed by Dr. Besigye in 2001 and the former DPP Chibita is Museveni’s former private secretary for 7 years.
“We ran to court not because we trust judges, but we went to court because we trust the law. As you aware, Justice Mike Chibita who constitutes a panel of judges was a private secretary to president Museveni for seven years so we expect nothing from him but putting him to test,” Bobi said.
He decried Chief justice’s behaviour of hosting president Museveni and asking him to implement a number of issues which includes increasing the number of judges and chief magistrates yet he constitutes a panel of judges who are scheduled to deliberate on the electoral petition challenging his victory.
“We can’t be part of the mockery of justice. We have instructed our lawyers to withdraw the case. We were told that the withdrawal of the matter is a process. This was a test, the electoral commission failed; the Supreme Court has as well failed,” he said.
“We have decided to take the matter to the court of public opinion; no one can convince you that the electoral commission was not independent. Museveni did not withdraw his petition in 1980s and he took up arms,” he said.