According to the application filed before the East African Court of Justice, the Attorney General wants time to extend such that he can file and serve a response out of time.
The Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka
General has petitioned the East African Court of Justice seeking an extension
of the time within which to file the government defence in a case where lawyer
Male Mabirizi is challenging a decision to declare Yoweri Museveni as the
duly elected President of Uganda.
In March 2021, the Supreme Court of Uganda led by Chief Justice Alfonse
Owiny-Dollo declared Museveni as the duly elected President of Uganda after the
former Presidential Candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu who was not happy with
his January 14th victory had challenged it on grounds related to electoral
However, Kyagulanyi later withdrew his petition alleging frustration
by the court. He said the court had declined to grant him extra time to file
additional evidence against Museveni, Electoral Commission and the
Attorney General whom he had listed as the respondents to the case.
Following the withdraw, the Supreme Court declared Museveni as the duly elected
President of Uganda. But Mabirizi petitioned the East African Court of Justice
saying that the Supreme Court of Uganda usurped powers not granted to it under
the laws of Uganda.
He argued that the Presidential Elections Act doesn't give powers to the
Supreme Court to declare a person duly elected upon withdrawing of the petition
but instead, such a declaration can only be made once the petition has been
heard to its logical conclusion which was not the case with Kyagulanyi's
Mabirizi asked the court to nullify the decision saying that there was no legal
backup of the court to validate Museveni's victory.
However, the Attorney General of Uganda who was listed as the only respondent
in the petition had only 45 days from April 13 2021 when the matter was filed to
have filed the defense for the government of Uganda.
the application filed before the East African Court of Justice, the Attorney General
wants time to extend such that he can file and serve a response out of time.
The supporting affidavit sworn by the State Attorney Hillary Nathan Ebila
indicates that Mabirizi served them the documents when he filed his case
and he(Ebila) is part of the team that was tasked by the Attorney General
to handle it but the file got misplaced in a department meant for payment of
court awards and compensation.
"That I know that on the date when the statement of reference was filed in
our registry, the registry staff inadvertently placed the file containing the
reference among files that were due for payment of court awards and
compensation", reads the affidavit in part.
It adds that ", the said file was discovered by the Accounts department
who referred it back to the registry of civil litigation for appropriate
Ebila, he was then informed by Halima Nakato the officer in charge of the Civil
Litigation registry whose advice he believes to be true that "the
file was inadvertently placed among the files due for payment of court awards
and compensation and sent to our Finance and Accounts Department.
" That I know that by the time the file containing the statement of
reference was discovered and returned to our civil registry, the time within
which to file and serve the response had since elapsed", adds Ebila's affidavit.
The evidence before the court further shows that the government of Uganda also
imposed a lockdown to mitigate the spread of the second wave of Covid-19 and
restricted the movement of both private and public transport which also caused
Now the Attorney General says that Mabirizi will not suffer any prejudice
if the orders sought are granted.
"It is just, equitable and fair that the court grants the orders sought in
this application in the interest of justice".
The matter which has been filed and received before the Kampala East African
Court of Justice Subregistry is yet to be fixed for hearing.