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Kampala Central Division Mayoral Elections Loser Appeals Against Ruling

According to Semugoma, the Judge further erred in law and fact when he misdirected himself on the law governing election petitions and went ahead to strike off his petition at a preliminary stage and condemning him to pay costs to Uhuru without hearing the merits of his case.
22 Oct 2021 16:38
Salim Uhuru upon being declared winner


The loser of Kampala Central Division Mayoral elections Hamdan Semugoma Kigozi has appealed against the dismissal of a petition he had filed against the eventual winner Salim Saad Uhuru.

 

Following the January 25th, 2021 elections, the Electoral Commission declared Uhuru of the ruling National Resistance Movement as the winner of the polls with 13,114 votes against the National Unity Platform Candidate Semugoma's 10,654 votes.

  But not satisfied with the results which were gazetted on April 22 2021, Semugoma through his lawyers of Alaka and Company Advocates challenged the victory of Uhuru in the High Court in Kampala. He accused the Electoral Commission for having declared Uhuru the winner when he was not in the voters’ register.

  Semugoma argued that Uhuru was not duly nominated because the nomination papers showed that the registered person was Salim Uhuru Nsubuga not Salim Saad Uhuru who won the race.  

According to Semugoma, the people who supported Uhuru’s nomination were not under the Kampala Central constituency but instead Lubaga Division while others were from Makindye in Wakiso District.  

Among other grounds, Semugoma noted that Uhuru’s nomination papers were not signed and countersigned by a minimum of 20 signatures as required under the Local Government Act.  

However, while delivering his judgement on September 30th 2021, Justice Isaac Muwata dismissed Semugoma’s petition saying that he ought to have raised his complaints first with the electoral commission but he didn’t.

Muwata added that on September 7th 2021 when Semugooma was given a chance to file 18 affidavits that supported the claim that Uhuru had forged signatures of the seconders of his nomination, he again introduced new grounds that were not in his original petition.

As such, the Judge reasoned that introducing new grounds was not acceptable in law and he accordingly dismissed the petition with costs saying Semugoma’s affidavit was based on hearsay since it did not have any supporting evidence.  

However, in his appeal filed before the Court of Appeal in Kampala, Semugoma is raising seven grounds to overturn the decision of Justice Muwata.

Semugoma contends that the learned trial Judge erred in law and fact in finding that the irregularities pertaining to Uhuru's qualifications and the illegalities in respect to his nomination had no basis before the High Court.  

"The learned trial Judge erred in law and fact in holding that the new affidavits in support of the petition raised new claims not canvassed in the petition and misdirected himself on expunging the entire of the said affidavits thus occasioning a miscarriage of justice", reads the appeal in part.  

Semugoma also faults the Judge for having ruled that when you remove some paragraphs of his affidavits which contained hearsay evidence, court could not rely and act upon them; and that further, if parts of the same were severed, the remaining parts could not sustain the standard of proof in election petitions hence occasioning a miscarriage of justice.

  According to Semugoma, the Judge further erred in law and fact when he misdirected himself on the law governing election petitions and went ahead to strike off his petition at a preliminary stage and condemning him to pay costs to Uhuru without hearing the merits of his case.

 

Semugoma now wants the Court of Appeal to set aside the orders of Justice Muwata, determine his case on its own merit and in the alternative, the petition be referred to the High Court for trial before another Judge. 

 

Semugoma's appeal is one of the 51 appeals so far filed before the Court of Appeal arising from 2021 general elections and High Court decisions.

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