A man with hearing
disabilities has petitioned High Court in Kampala seeking to block
the elections for male district councilors for persons with disabilities in
Luwero District. The said elections are
supposed to take place on January 27 2021.
But Herbert Ssekabira
wants the court to block the coming elections on grounds that he was
illegally denominated from the race by the Electoral Commission Chairperson
Justice Simon Byabakama without according him a right to fair hearing.
On December 28th 2020,
Byabakama denominated Ssekabira on grounds that he had failed to prove
substantially that he has disabilities in as far as the Persons with
Disabilities Act of 2019 is concerned.
Byabakama also directed
the Returning Officer for Luwero District to declare Ssekabira's rival Suuna Mulema elected
unopposed since he was the only remaining candidate in the race.
of Ssekabira followed a complaint by Legal Disability Rights Advocacy a non-governmental
organization which argued that he did not have any hearing disabilities and
therefore he didn't have the capacity to represent their interests.
But in his court
documents, Ssekabira contends that he has had hearing disabilities since 2002
after being subjected to torture by operatives attached to Chieftaincy of
Military Intelligence and to date, his hearing was affected and if he is to
hear properly, he has to use hearing aids.
According to the
evidence on court record, on October 10th 2005, Dr Julian Nabatanzi from
the African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims examined
Ssekabira and found that he had sustained profound loss of hearing in the right
ear due to torture.
indicates that shortly after being elected the NRM flag bearer in this race, one
of the members of National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda- NUDIPU Charles Mabonga wrote a complaint to
the union claiming that Ssekabira did not have any disability.
Evidence further shows
that NUDIPU’s Chairperson Mpindi Bumali, wrote back confirming that indeed Ssekabira
is a person with multiple disabilities including hard of hearing.
says that on September 21 2020, the Legal Disability Rights Advocacy which he
says is a non-existent organization also petitioned the Electoral Commission
seeking for his denomination.
He says having
established that the said body is an illegal entity without any legal standing
in Uganda, he wonders who the complainant is against him.
He said that he was
called by the Electoral Commission officials and asked to leave his medical
records behind and orally told that they had received a petition against him
whose copy he didn't get.
Following this body’s
petition, Ssekabira contends that he consulted his lawyers who wrote to
the Commission regarding the petition in issue but the same was ignored. He
adds that since December 22nd 2020, when they wrote their second letter regarding
their decision, no feedback was given to them.
But he was reportedly shocked
on January 19 2021 when he went to the Commission and found a letter dated
December 28th 2020 disqualifying him from the race.
Ssekabira now says that the actions of the
Commission to denominate him were unfair since he provided all the necessary
documents to prove that he was disabled but still they didn't consider them.
He now wants court to
declare that the Electoral Commission flouted the rules of natural Justice for
having handled an alleged complaint by a non-existing complainant without any
//Cue in: “Eyawaba
Cue out: …atte bandiwilile”.//
In the alternative, he
wants court to set aside the decision by the Electoral Commission and have the elections
Hearing of the case will
be on January 25th 2021 before Lady Justice Esta Nambayo.