Court has been asked to dismiss a petition challenging the
election of the Katikamu South Member of Parliament Hassan Kirumira.
In separate petitions that the court consolidated last week,
Patricia Magara and Alex Nathan Ssenabulya challenged the victory of Kirumira
citing election irregularities. Magara alleges that Ssenabulya Alex Nathan was
introduced on the ballot paper yet he was not nominated as a candidate in the
elections and that the Electoral Commission made glaring errors and false
entries into the Declaration Forms which had a significant impact on the final
Alex Nathan Ssenabulya sued the Electoral Commission for failing to include his
name on the final Declaration form of results yet he was nominated and elected.
On Thursday, it emerged in court that both petitioners and their witnesses
swore their affidavits before an unlicensed commissioner of oaths.
The petitioners' lawyers led by Julius Turinawe told the court
presided over by Justice Margaret Apiny that they realized that the commissioner
of oaths had not renewed his practising certificate by March 18 when he
administered the oaths.
Turinawe told the court that they had written to the Chief Registrar seeking
information on the licensing of the commissioner but received no response until
Thursday morning when they were told verbally by an official in the Chief
Registrar's office that Kakeeto's practising certificate had expired.
Turinawe asked the court to allow the petitioners and their
witnesses re-administer the affidavits before a licensed commissioner of oaths.
However, lawyers of the Electoral Commission and Kirumira
challenged Magara and Ssenabulya's application saying that it has been filed
beyond the 30 days which an election petition is permitted.
Kirumira’s lawyer Twaha Kabuye told the court that the affidavits by
a commissioner of oaths without a practicing certificate are incurably
defective and the court cannot act upon them.
Justice Margaret Apiny has set September 6 when she will rule on the matter.
Magara and Ssenabulya also lost an application in which they
wanted to amend their consolidated petition which said they needed to align
their petition to accommodate the new parties.
Ssenabulya through his lawyers said that although he had sued only
the Electoral Commission, consolidating his case with that Magara who sued the
Electoral Commission and Kirumira automatically meant that Kirumira is another respondent in the respondent.
Court declined their application saying that the petitions shall
be heard as had been earlier filed.