Uganda Election Aftermath | Mbabazi Amends Election Petition to include 15 New Grounds

Posted March 7, 2016 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Uganda - The Election Aftermath ~ 3,422 views


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The legal team representing presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi has presented before the Supreme court, an amended petition with fresh grounds to challenge President Yoweri Museveni’s victory in the February 18 general election.

The amended petition introduced 15 new grounds to the original submission in Presidential election petition No. 1 of 2016.  It was received by the judiciary at 10am.

The grounds presented in the amended petition include proof of voter bribery, use of public servants in political activities, interference with opposition activities and misuse of government resources. They were presented at the pre-hearing conference at the Supreme court offices in Kampala.

In one of the new grounds, Mbabazi says that Museveni was involved in voter bribery when, while on his campaign tour in Busoga sub region, he donated 500 hectares of Bukaleba forest reserve land in Bukatuube sub county to over 30,000 families.

Mbabazi adds that the act was intended to induce voters into voting for the NRM candidate contrary to section 64 of the presidential elections act.

Mbabazi also faults the inspector general of police Kale Kayihura for authorizing and providing protection for counter-rallies and demonstrations against his candidature in the districts of Mbale and Gulu.

Also in the amended petition is the interference into Go Forward rallies by Lt. Gen Henry Tumukunde, the former director general of  the Internal Security Organization (ISO).

Mbabazi says Tumukunde erred in law when he, provocatively flew an helicopter, fully decorated with Yoweri Museveni posters and NRM party colors and landed it at Fort Portal Boma grounds, where Mbabazi was scheduled to address a rally.

In another ground, Mbabazi says that NRM party candidate Museveni illegally made use of government resources which would not ordinarily be utilized by a president  without proper authorization. Mbabazi argues that this, created an unfair advantage for other presidential candidates.

Museveni, the petition adds, erred in involving civil servants in his political activities. It cites the address by Allen Kagina, the executive director of the Uganda National Roads Authority and Jennifer Musisi, the executive director of Kampala Capital City Authority who appeared at rallies in Kanungu and Kampala districts respectively to defend government programmes.

Mbabazi is also demanding a fresh recount of votes in 45 districts across the country to determine the substantial effect of the malpractices and non compliance acts by the Electoral Commission in the conduct of the general election.

The districts which he says need a recount include Kampala, Wakiso, Jinja, Arua, Luweero, Apac, Moroto, Gulu, Kisoro, Ntungamo, Rukungiri, Rakai, Sironko, Kanungu, Butambala, Rubirizi, Soroti and Serere among others. The districts are all opposition strongholds.

Mbabazi lodged the initial petition last week seeking to nullify the election of President Museveni, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidate on grounds that the EC did not comply with the electoral laws and that there was outright voter rigging.

Results announced by the Commission indicate that Museveni garnered 5,971,872 and emerged victor with 60.6 percent against 3, 508,687 votes obtained by Dr Kizza Besigye representing 35.61 percent of the total votes cast. Amama Mbabazi polled 136,519 representing 1.39 percent of the total votes cast.

A panel of nine judges led by chief justice Bart Katureebe today morning heard the pre-hearing of the petition. Other members of the team are Jotham Tumwesigye, Esther Kisaakye, Stella Arach-Amoko, Augustine Nshimye Sebuturo, Faith Mwondha, Ruby Aweri Opio, Eldad Mwangusya and Prof Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza.

Katureebe earlier proposed a recess after lawyers from the Electoral Commission, government and the Museveni team said they were seeing the amended petition for the first time. After a 2-hour adjournment, Katureebe ruled and announced that the amended petition had been accepted.

Earlier deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana had asked court to dismiss the amended petition with costs. He said it was not necessary to amend the petition merely to present fresh evidence which could also be presented in other affidavits.

His argument was also supported by Joseph Matsiko, a lawyer representing the first respondent Yoweri Museveni saying the amendment is an entirely new petition which will prolong the process if considered. The Supreme Court has only 30 days to hear the petition and deliver its judgment.

But Michael Akampurira, one of the lawyers representing Mbabazi says the amendments do not require leave and can be dealt with within the stipulated time. He said special circumstances forced the petitioning team to amend the original petition.

Katureebe said that the amendments are important for the issues under consideration and ordered the plaintiffs to supply amended petition to Yoweri Museveni by close of business today.

He added that by the time of the hearing set for March 14, all affidavits and any issues must have been resolved. Court will however meet again on March 10 to follow up on any agreed issues.

Source — The Observer

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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