Muhammad Ssegirinya

The High Court in Kampala has dismissed an election petition challenging the election of Kawempe North MP Muhammad Ssegirinya.

In the ruling delivered by Court’s Deputy Registrar Agnes Alum, Justice Henrietta Wolayo dismissed the petition on ground that Ssegirinya was not served.

“There is no evidence by petitioners’ lawyers to prove that Ssegirinya was served as required by the law. The OC of Kitalya prison had to endorse the petition to prove that he had been served,” Justice Wolayo ruled.

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The judge said by the order of substituted service, Kidandala’s lawyers had to personally serve Ssegirinya while in prison or through the officer in charge of the prison who had acknowledged receipt.

In February, Sulaiman Kidandala petitioned the Court seeking to overturn Ssegirinya’s victory on grounds that he used forged academic papers for nomination and subsequent election as a member of parliament.

Ssegirinya defeated nine other candidates after he polled 41,197 votes against his closest challenger Kidandala who had 7,512 votes.

Kidandala wanted the court to overturn his victory on grounds that he lacks the Ordinary and Advanced Certificates and is, therefore, ineligible for election as MP. He contends that Ssegirinya used the academic documents of Nampiima Sarah for “O” Level and Nabadda Maureen for “A” level and wanted the High court to order Electoral Commission to organize fresh elections for Kawempe North.

He averred that Ssegirinya is not a registered voter anywhere in the country and he failed to obtain the names and signatures of a minimum of ten registered voters in Kawempe North to support his nomination.

During the pre–hearing session, through his lawyers led by Kenneth Paul Kakande, Kidandala told Court that the MP was served but instead he chose not to attend.

Kakande said they found it hard to serve the MP and the first time they heard that he is detained at Kampala Central Police Station (CPS) but instead declined to take summons.

“We approached the Officer in Charge (OC) of CPS and urged us to wait and serve him at Buganda Road Court where he was to appear before a magistrate over charges of inciting violence. Justice Emmanuel Baguma, the deputy head of the High court civil division, allowed us to serve him through the officer-in-charge of Kitalya prisons,” Kakande said.