The Deputy Registrar of the High Court Civil Division, Sarah Langa dismissed the application this morning on grounds that the applicant, Steven Kalali ought not to use the application as a short cut to justice for his delayed suit pending judgment, which is illegal.
The Applicant Steven Kalali Addressing Journalists at High Court in Kampala
High Court in Kampala has dismissed an interim application by City
Lawyer, Steven Kalali seeking to compel Electoral Commission to include
Ugandans in the diaspora and prison inmates in the voting process.
The Deputy Registrar of the High Court Civil
Division, Sarah Langa dismissed the application this morning on grounds that
the applicant, Steven Kalali ought not to use the application as a short cut to
justice for his delayed suit pending judgment, which is illegal.
Langa also argued that there is no way she can extend the
ongoing registration process to allow prisoners and Ugandans in the diaspora to
participate in the voter’s register update exercise yet they have never
participated in the elections. She also noted that Kalali wanted to use the interim
application to preempt the main suit seeking similar orders, which is before
Justice Lydia Mugambe.
Langa thus dismissed the application with orders that each
party bears its own costs since it was a matter of public interest. Kalali ran
to court on December 9th, 2019 seeking a temporary injunction stopping Electoral
Commission and Government from excluding prisoners and Ugandans in the Diaspora
from participating in the ongoing update of the voter’s register.
He also asked court to compel the EC to register
adult inmates and those in the diaspora, extend the deadline of the voter’s
register updating exercise the disposal of the main suit seeking similar
orders. Justice Lydia Mugambe set March 13th, 2020 to deliver judgment on the
Kalali’s main suit, which Kalali, says will cause irreparable damage to the
During the hearing of the interim application, EC lawyers led
by Hamid Lugolobi asked court to dismiss it. Lugolobi noted that there was lack
of satisfactory proof showing how many prisoners and citizens in the diaspora
will suffer damage once excluded from the poll and asked court to maintain the
He also noted that granting the orders sought by Kalali will interfere
with the electoral process and therefore affect its implementation. Inmates and
Ugandans in the diaspora will have to wait until March 2020 to establish
whether they can vote or not.
Last week, the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama
extended the registration and voter’s register update exercise for five days,
which end today. The exercise, which commenced on November, 21st,
2019 was meant to end on December, 11th, 2019