Posted by Africa-Press reporter
Faridah N Kulumba
Africa-Press – Uganda. Uganda Supreme Court set the date of 18th March 2021 on which it will deliver judgement on the presidential election petition filed by presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Sssentamu alias Bobi Wine.
According to chief justice Alifonse Owiny Dollo the judgement will be mainly conducted through written submissions due to time constraints.
The pre-hearing conference was postponed for about two weeks to allow Bobi Wine to prepare witnesses affidavits which he says he has not been able to do so because some of them had gone missing.
Background of the petition
On the 1st Febuary 2021 presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi 38 years who was the strongest competitor of the incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhabulwa 75 years, through his lawyers led by Medard Ssegona, petitioned the Supreme Court contesting the electoral commission’s results which declared Museveni as a winner by 58.64 percent and Kyagulanyi with 34.85 percent which he rejected saying that the results were fake.
Bobi Wine’s legal team raised 26 grounds against the incumbent Museveni saying that they have proof of ballot stuffing, violence and malpractices that took place during the 14th January 2021 elections.
In the petition they asked court to base on those grounds and nullify the election and order of a fresh one without Museveni participating in it.
Surprisingly the petitioner Bobi Wine failed to attend the pre-hearing but why?
In the pre-hearing conference the three parties had to meet and agree on the issues to consider.
However the petitioners lawyers did not attend the meeting neither did they finish to prepare affidavits they expected to present.
Ssegona explained to court that they had a challenge reaching some witnesses who had dissapeared.
“We suffered a set back when some of our witnesses continued to go missing as we have tempted to access them having prepared affidavits.” said Ssegona
How did the court set the timeline in the shortest period remaining?
According to the programe, the petitioner have 2nd February to 14th to file all affidavits and to serve the respondents.
On 20th March the respondents will file their responses to the affidavits. On 23 parties will file rejoinders, and between 24 and 25 court will allow parties to cross examine witnesses, present any electronic evidence and all submissions.
Between 7-17 March 2021 the 9 judges will will retreat to prepare summary judgement to be derivers on the 18th March 2021.
Jameson Karemani Supreme Court spokesman during an interview with our AFP reporter revealed that, the chief justice ordered all parties to set up desks at court to ease filling and serving. And that the court registry will remain open even on the weekends.
“In the court mainly will be receiving those affidavits that is the main thing plus the submissions that remain the main activity that is going to take place until that day when they have filled all the affidavits they would want to come and cross examine the witnesses who have sworn the affidavits.” Karemani said.
Is Museveni’s camp shaky?
As the the presidential candidate Bobi Wine also the National Unity Platform leader races against time to prepare and file the evidences amidst alleged disappearance of his witnesses, his opponent Museveni says his ready to defend his victory.
Although previously Museveni through his lawyers led by Isingoma Esau of Kiryowa and Kiwanuka Advocates had asked court to dismiss the petition on ground that the petitioners had no supporting evidences and that they were wrongly accused, his National Resistance Movement secretary general Justine Kasule Lumumba still insists that the victory is theirs and they ready to defend their candidate’s victory through a group of lawyers they hired.