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.
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
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
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.