In a decision delivered on Friday, the Court of Appeal Justices comprised of Fredrick Egonda Ntende, Cheborion Barishaki, and Eva Luswata Kawuma, set aside the decision by the High Court to dismiss Ssemugooma's petition and directed that it should be heard afresh before a different Judge.
The Court of
Appeal has ordered a fresh hearing of the petition in which the loser of
the Kampala Central Mayoral race Hamdan Ssemugooma Kigozi is challenging the
victory of Salim Saad Uhuru.
In a decision delivered on Friday, the Court of Appeal Justices comprised of
Fredrick Egonda Ntende, Cheborion Barishaki, and Eva Luswata Kawuma, set aside
the decision by the High Court to dismiss Ssemugooma's petition and directed
that it should be heard afresh before a different Judge.
The Electoral Commission declared National Resistance Movement candidate Uhuru
as the winner of the Kampala Central Mayoral race with 13,114 votes against
Ssemugooma's 10,654 votes who came second on the National Unity Platform Party
Ssemugooma petitioned the High Court challenging the victory of Uhuru on grounds
that he had bribed voters. He also noted
that Uhuru was nominated erroneously having failed to present the
required signatures supporting his candidature and forgery of signatures
to support the same.
Uhuru was also accused of conniving with the Electoral Commission to rob Ssemugooma's
his victory, especially at Summit View and State House Polling Stations
where he indicated that there were several election irregularities such as the
register indicating that soldiers who had died prior to the elections had
participated in voting and also people who were not on the register, thereby
exceeding the number of voters at those stations.
Ssemugooma's petition was however dismissed by High Court Judge
Isaac Muwata who ruled that he should have challenged Uhuru's nomination
before polling day, not after the election.
Muwata also ruled that Ssemugooma didn't have affidavits to support his application.
Ssemugooma had filed 18 affidavits but upon scrutiny, Uhuru's lawyers noted
that the petitioner had introduced new claims not part of the election
agreed with Uhuru's lawyers and hence ruled that the affidavits couldn't be
admitted before court.
appealed to the Court of Appeal seeking to set it aside. In their decision, the Court of Appeal
Justices noted that the High Court Judge wrongly expunged from the Court record
some of the additional affidavits yet they are the ones who ought to
have supported Ssemugooma's allegations of bribery against Uhuru.
learned trial Judge's finding that the Appellant's evidence was insufficient to
prove the allegations of bribery, which finding was reached without considering
the highlighted evidence was erroneous because such a finding could not be
reached without evaluating all the evidence ", said the Justices.
also indicated that the lower Court Judge misdirected himself on the law
governing the trial of election petitions hence striking off the petition by
Ssemugooma at a preliminary stage which resulted in a miscarriage of justice.
Ssemugooma said that he is happy with the decision and he is hopeful that
he will win when they go back to the lower Court.
//Cue in: "Ekisoka Koti eya...
Cue out:...wa Kampala senturo".
//Cue in: "We are glad...
Cue out: ...win this case".//
This is the second election petition that was heard by Justice Muwata which the
Court of Appeal is ordering for a fresh hearing.
In May, the
Court of Appeal Justices comprised of Fredrick Egonda-Ntende, Christopher
Izama Madrama, and Eva Luswata quashed Muwata's decision
of dismissing a petition filed by De Paul Kayanja against the
Entebbe Municipality Mayoral Fabrice Rulinda and ordered that it should
be heard afresh.