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Mabirizi Challenges Supreme Court Decision to Declare Museveni Elected President

Mabirizi says without hearing the case up to its logical conclusion, there was no legal back up for court to have validated Museveni’s victory and he therefore wants the decision nullified.
The Petitioner Male Mabirizi.

Audio 2

City lawyer Male Mabirizi has petitioned the East African Court of Justice challenging the decision by the Supreme Court to declare Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as the duly elected President of Uganda.

In January, the Electoral Commission declared Museveni the winner of the Presidential elections.

However, the first runner up Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu who stood on the National Unity Platform party ticket challenged Museveni's election on grounds that the election was not conducted in conformity with the laws which provide for a free and fair election.

 Kyagulanyi among others accused Museveni of bribery and arresting intimidation. 

However, he withdrew the election petition saying that he had been frustrated by the court which declined to grant him extra time to file additional evidence against Museveni, Electoral Commission and the Attorney General. 

The Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo Okayed the withdrawal of the petition and declared Museveni as the duly elected President of Uganda.

"The candidate declared elected by the Electoral Commission Yoweri Museveni Tibuhaburwa Kaguta is duly elected as President" the court stated.

However, in his petition to the East African Court of Justice filed on Tuesday, Mabirizi contends that the said decision amounted to Supreme Court usurping powers not granted to it under the laws of Uganda.

Mabirizi relies on Section 59(2) of the Presidential Elections Act which states that “where a petition having been filed, is withdrawn by the person who filed it or is dismissed by the Supreme Court, the candidate declared elected shall conclusively be taken to have been duly elected president".

On this, he argues that the Presidential Elections Act does not give powers to the Supreme Court to declare a person duly elected upon withdrawal of the Petition. But instead, such a declaration can only be made once the petition has been heard up to its logical conclusion which was not the case with Kyagulanyi’s petition.

According to Mabirizi, it doesn't mean that when there is no one else still challenging Museveni's victory, the court makes a declaration that he was duly elected when it did not investigate the allegations that were brought before it by Kyagulanyi in his petition.

He says without hearing the case up to its logical conclusion, there was no legal back up for the court to have validated Museveni’s victory and he, therefore, wants the decision nullified. 

//Cue in: “Okuba nga tewaliwo….

Cue out: …bamulonda mu butufu”.//

 English Audio.

//Cue in: “When the Electoral…

Cue out: …dismiss it period”.//

Meanwhile, in the same petition, Mabirizi has also challenged several decisions that rose from the same proceedings of Kyagulanyi's withdrawn petition, key of which are related to how the Chief Justice handled the case.  

These include the decision by the Chief Justice to go ahead and read the rulings that Mabirizi had already objected to and accordingly filed an application seeking to stay the related proceeding and the closing of the Supreme Court building when one of the panellists Justice Dr Esther Kisakye had fixed to read her dissenting ruling.

The other is the action of Attorney General William Byaruhanga as the head of the bar to walk away when Dr Kisakye was going to read her ruling. 

  Mabirizi now wants the court to pronounce that the said actions of Owiny-Dollo and the Attorney General were illegal and be paid general damages and awarded costs of the petition.

The East African Court Registry has already summoned Attorney General William Byaruhanga to start filing his defence before the matter is fixed for hearing.

The suit comes at the time when President-Elect Museveni is expected to be sworn in for the sixth term of office next month. 

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