Breaking

Former Entebbe Municipality Mayor Appeals Dismissal of Election Petition

Last month, Justice Isaac Muwata dismissed Kayanja’s petition with costs on grounds that it was incompetent since the affidavits accompanying the petition were based on hearsay.
Poster for Kayanja

Audio 1

The former Entebbe Municipality Mayor Vincent De Paul Kayanja has appealed against the ruling by the court that dismissed a petition he filed against his rival Fabrice Brad Rulinda.    

In January, the Electoral Commission declared Rulinda an Independent candidate winner with 6,703 votes against Kayanja’s 5,576 votes. 

Kayanja, who contested on the Democratic Party-DP ticket, petitioned the High Court seeking to overturn the victory of Rulinda on grounds that there was falsification of results in 74 polling stations. 

The court also heard that the elections were not free and fair because there was violence and the involvement of the army at the Wakiso District Tally Centre, failure to use electronic display system as required by law to enable transparent tallying of results among others. 

Last month, Justice Isaac Muwata dismissed Kayanja’s petition with costs on grounds that it was incompetent since the affidavits accompanying the petition were based on hearsay.

Kayanja through his lawyers of Alaka and Company Advocates has listed five grounds to challenge Justice Muwata's decision in his appeal filed before the Court of Appeal in Kampala.  

Kayanja contends that the learned Judge erred in law and fact when he dismissed the petition on trivial, presumptive grounds and mere suspicions of his evidence thereby occasioning a miscarriage of justice.

"The learned trial Judge erred in law and fact in his finding that the Appellant's/Kayanja's affidavits accompanying and in support to the petition failed the admissibility test thereby occasioning a miscarriage of justice", reads the appeal in part.  

According to Kayanja, he also faults Justice Muwata for having reportedly misdirected himself in holding that the affidavits were based on hearsay and that if parts of the same were severed, the remaining parts could not sustain the standard of proof in election petitions. To him, this also resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

  "The learned trial Judge erred in law and fact in his holding that the petition remained unsupported and failed for non-compliance with statutory requirements of affidavit evidence and thereby occasioning a miscarriage of justice,” it adds. 

Kayanja further notes that it was wrong for Justice Muwata to penalize him to pay costs in the circumstances of the case.

Kayanja wants the Court of Appeal to set aside Muwata's orders and go ahead to determine his petition on its own merits.

//Cue in: “So amongst other….

Cue out: …Court of Appeal”. //

Alternatively, Kayanja wants the matter to be referred back to the High Court for trial before another Judge.  

The case is among more than 30 appeals arising out of the 2021 elections and High Court decisions are yet to be fixed for hearing.