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Invalid Affidavits Filed in Katikamu South Election Petition

On Thursday, it emerged in court that both petitioners and their witnesses swore their affidavits before an unlicensed commissioner of oaths.

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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 results.

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. 

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