Kalali, bitter that his signature was forged to mislead court that he had reached agreement with the EC, now wants court to set aside the contentious order such that prisoners can go ahead and vote in 2021 general elections
In an unprecedented suit, a city lawyer
Steven Kalali has sued the Electoral Commission accusing them of forging of his signature to accept that prisoners would participate in voting in 2026
elections but not in 2021 as earlier ordered by court.
June 2020, High Court Civil Division Judge Lydia Mugambe ordered the Electoral
commission to put in place mechanisms to ensure that Ugandans abroad and the
prisoners above 18 years can participate in the 2021 general elections.
made the order following a petition filed by lawyer Steven Kalali who argued
that the exclusion of prisoners and Ugandans in the Diaspora from voting for
over 20 years since the constitution was promulgated amounted to discrimination
In his petition,
Kalali demanded that each of the prisons in Uganda be declared a registration
and polling Center ahead of the 2021 general elections, which the Judge
agreed with and accordingly issued orders to that effect.
days later, the Electoral Commission through its lawyers led by Hamidu
lugoloobi and Eric Sabiiti filed an application for review saying that it
didn’t have funds to comply with the court order.
The Commission also
argued that they had closed the National Voters Register and they had limited
time towards the elections alongside the challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown which
wouldn't allow them to comply effectively with the court orders.
As a result, a
consent order dated July 20 2020 was endorsed by High Court Judge Esta Nambayo.
This was at the time when courts were in vacation. The endorsed order indicated that Kalali and
his lawyers had conceded to the application by the Electoral Commission and
therefore agreed that the prisoners and Ugandans in the diaspora can vote in 2026
Now, in his fresh application before the high
court Civil Division, the petitioner Steven Kalali wants the court to set aside
the consent order in question.
He contends that
the said order was obtained either through deceit, misrepresentation or forgery
because he was not in court at the time of extracting it and neither did he
append his signature to it.
Kalali adds that there
was also forgery of his Senior lawyer Deogratious Odokel’s signature who was
equally not in court adding that the endorsement was done before the date the
application by the Electoral Commission could be ruled upon on August
that on the day of the consent order, he appeared at Court briefly but he later
left and told one of his lawyers Joseph Mutyaba that if there's anything good, he
should be informed about the developments so that he could return to court. Otherwise his intention was to return the next day with his senior counsel to be advised whether it was good enough to sign or not.
Mutyaba informed him about the consent order, Kalali insists that he told
him that he would be available the following day together with Senior lawyer Odokel but
was shocked to see an order bearing their signatures when they hadn't signed.
Kalali says that
the said forgeries could have been made by the Electoral Commission officials
or lawyers who signed the same hurriedly as at all times they wanted him and
his lawyers to assent to the order.
One of Kalali’s
lawyers Mutyaba supports this position in his affidavit saying that after signing his
part, he left the document with Electoral Commission lawyers Eric Sabiiti and
Hamid Lugoobi hoping that they would wait for Kalali and Odokel to append their
signatures the following day before they could take it to the Judge to put a
court seal and stamp. But Mutyaba alleges that he was equally shocked after
seeing the signatures of the other individuals who were not in court.
According to his
evidence before the court, on September 9th 2020, a report obtained from
the Government Analytical Laboratory authored by Senior Government Analyst
Catherine Namuwoya, the signature that was put in the consent order was not
authored by Kalali whose 15 copies of his known signatures had been submitted to
them for verification.
Kalali now wants
court to set aside the contentious order so that prisoners can go ahead and
vote in 2021 general elections.
//Cue in: “I’m
Cue out: ..marred with illegalities”.//
//Cue in: “Nze
Cue out: …twakanya
When contacted, one
of the Electoral Commission’s lawyers Eric Sabiiti for a comment, he said he
has not yet been served with a copy of this application and therefore cannot
say anything about it.