Ssekaana said that since the election process has already started and is still ongoing, issuing an interim injunction may bring political confusion. The Judge later promised to hear the main case soon for which he fixed for September 18 2020.
Justice Musa Ssekaana has dismissed an application seeking to stop the Electoral
Commission from nominating candidates from the National Unity Platform-NUP.
He delivered the ruling on Tuesday in response to an application filed
by Basile Difas and Hassan Twaha who sought to block the nomination of NUP
candidates because of the recent changes in the party leadership.
The duo had sued Moses Nkonge Kibalama, the founding leader of the National
Unity Reconciliation and Development Party-NURP, NUP party president, Robert
Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, David Lewis Rubongoya, the Secretary-General, Party
spokesperson, Joel Ssenyonyi, the Deputy Secretary-General, Aisha Kabanda.
The others are the NUP Women Affairs Secretary, Flavia Kalule Nabagabe,
National mobilization Secretary, Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu and Senior Administrative
Secretary, Paul Ssimbwa Kagombe. In their suit, the applicants asked the court to
block the nominations of NUP candidates on grounds that they were denied a chance
from participating in the party electoral process.
They also argued that the NURP leadership was fraudulently passed on to
Kyagulanyi and other leaders without in disregard of the right procedures. The applicants argued that they would suffer
irreparable damage shouldn’t court fail to grant their prayers pending the
determination of the main suit.
When the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday afternoon before Justice
Musa Ssekaana, in an unusual occurrence, the representatives of government,
Electoral Commission and NUP sat on the same side and put up a spirited fight
against the application.
NUP’s lawyer, Anthony Wameli was the first to respond to the
application. He told the court that the applicants have no cause for action against
his clients because there's no proof to show that they are registered members
of NURP. He also said that there was no proof that the applicants have ever
paid membership fees to obtain NURP registration party cards.
Electoral Commission lawyers, Eric Sabiiti and Hamidu Lugoolobi who relied on
an affidavit by Samuel Kiyingi, the Principal Election Officer at the
Commission argued that the commission is mandated with registering and
monitoring political party activities. They argued that there is no evidence
indicating that the applicants are founding members of NURP.
Sabiiti told the court that according to Kiyingi’s affidavit, it wasn’t the
first time the NURP leadership was approaching the Electoral Commission to make
changes in the party leadership. But the previous attempts failed because of lack
of proper documentation.
Court heard that on November 22 2012, the NURP leadership requested to shorten
their name to National Unity Platform -NUP party but their request was rejected
due to failure to follow the procedures laid down in the party constitution.
also heard that the same party made a request to the Commission on February 4, 2020, to
change its name to the Independent National Unity Party- TINA but the Electoral
Commission didn't act due to lack of the requisite documents.
According to the affidavit, the same party made another on March 4 2019, which was
rejected until September 12, 2019, when the request was approved and published
in the National Gazette. The approval followed an extra-ordinary meeting held
on March 11, 2019, at which, a resolution to change its name was passed and a
notification to change it followed on June 14 2019.
According to EC, after complying
with all the requirement, they then issued the party with a certificate of
registration. The party then held meetings for its executive committee
followed by an extraordinary national delegates conference.
The Commission contends that the even the request to change the party symbol
was made and rejected several times until the party leaders complied with the
laid down procedures, which included filing a resolution from the national
Following the submission, EC asked the court to dismiss the application on
grounds that the party changes were made within the required procedures under
the law. The Attorney General who was represented by Jeffrey Atwine concurred
with the submissions by the EC lawyers.
In his ruling Justice Musa Ssekaana declined to block the party
nominations, saying it would be improper for his court to issue an interim
injunction before listening to the merits and demerits of the case. He said
since the electioneering process has already started, issuing an interim injunction
could stir confusion since NUP has already participated in some elections.
EC lawyer, Eric Sabiiti welcomed the decision saying it was fair for all those