As it turned out, Bobi Wine’s petition against the re-election of President Yoweri Museveni in the just concluded polls was bound to suffer a still-birth anyway; and that wasn’t without reasons as we will enumerate shortly; but to begin with, the prelude to the January 14, 2021 general elections was punctuated with outlandish deportment and a general lack of respect for the rule of law on the part of NUP’s supremo and his rank and file. And so, when, in recalcitrant and vulgar tirades unseen before in Uganda’s body politic, Bobi Wine and his lawyers came out strangely tongue-wagging against real and imagined political foes, they ended up not sparing even the esteemed inhabitants of our country’s highest temple of justice – the Justices of the Supreme Court!
From then on, calibrating the deportment of Bobi Wine and his ilk wasn’t a daunting task; theirs was predictable, overly assuming and outrightly arrogant. One thing was, particularly, not known to them though; politics is different from theatrics where crudity is a norm and signature. The despicable sectarian violence they meted out on NRM-supporters and PSVs plying the western route was part of that crudity. Handlers of intel services spoke of some youth harvested recently who were being trained in acts of terrorism to engineer an insurrection during the election season.
Firstly, outside that crudity, Bobi Wine’s so-called evidence was riddled with discrepancies between the signatures on the affidavits submitted to the Supreme Court and NIIRA’s data bank that ideally has all nationals’ autographs. Uganda’s writing expert, Silvia Chelangat confirmed that misdemeanour that ten out of fifteen affidavits had forged signatures. That perjury and uttering false documents by an aspiring national leader, if I recall, attracts a handsome sentence for the perpetrator in our land. That indelible forgery blight has been recorded in history to live with the petitioner into his future political career. Relatedly, it couldn’t stand on the floor of the court; it was bound to collapse like a house of cards at a flick of a child’s finger.
Secondly, the heap of the so-called election petition evidence was a pack of falsifications and that is partly why it couldn’t even be snail-paced to the Supreme Court premises promptly as the petitioner busied himself with inter-switching his supervisors for polling agents (as petitioners) on paper between far flung locations; the petitioner kept duping the public by complaining about inadequate time for collecting the requisite evidence, the impartiality of some justices and the incarceration of some of his witnesses many of whom were more-over immobilized as far back as the November 2020 riots to keep the Ugandan voter from harm’s way. That tempestuous situation was instigated by NUP goons. President Yoweri Museveni was re-elected on January 14, 2021 well after those upheavals. It should be recalled that the petitioner was severally given extra time by the Supreme Court to present “more evidence” he claimed he had to no avail.
Thirdly, Bobi Wine’s legal bunch were mere moonlight as compared to the sunlight of President Yoweri Museveni’s. It was all about a game of inexperience against experience and nymphs against a strapper. The legal teams of the President, the EC and the Attorney General have been in politically charged legal trenches umpteen times that it was only a matter of time before they dropped the gauntlet. A little bit of that was seen when the respondents’ lawyers shredded the petitioner’s “evidence” on March 4, 2021; that must have profoundly unnerved Bobi Wine’s legal squad and chilled their spines!
Fourthly, the ministry of health had, earlier, issued standard operating procedures in order to stem the COVID 19 pandemic that has ravaged the entire globe including the western hemisphere that has not lacked proclivity to lecture us about democracy! Bobi Wine and his ilk flouted those SOPs throughout the campaign period. Surprisingly, he had cogitated using the SOP restrictions to advance his petition! Was the petitioner and his lawyers surprised, therefore, that the Supreme Court Judges observed the SOPs including wearing masks and social distancing throughout the hearing of Uganda’s shortest and still-birthed legal-political case? The matter of violating the SOPs by Bobi Wine and other opposition oligarchs was robustly raised by the respondents’ lawyers; forget about the EU’s and US’s misplaced and exasperating outbursts that the Yoweri Museveni administration used those restrictions to debar citizens’ freedoms.
It is crystal clear that Bobi Wine was only after a public relations stunt before his western foreign funders, regional anarchists as well as appeasing his domestic constituency with a post-election-loss pain killer – the petition. The very election he grumbled about, gave him a win in Buganda although he was aided by negative and sectarian social media-mongering plus; the judicial system he disparaged had earlier adjudicated him into parliament as an MP for Kyadondo North.
Fifthly, his incessant falsities about how the restrictions imposed on him impeded the advancement of his petition fell flat after respondents’ lawyers countered them on the floor of court with evidence that he had unfettered communication with his lawyers throughout the court process.
Ambassador Henry Mayega
Deputy Head of Mission
Abu Dhabi, UAE