Supreme Court allows Mayambala to file application for inheritance

By Sania Babirye

The Supreme Court has given a go ahead to former Presidential candidate Eng.Willy Mayambala to file a formal application seeking to inherit National Unity Platform party president Robert Kyagulanyi’s presidential election petition.

In his reply to Mayambala’s objection letter, dated 25th February 2022 and signed on by the Supreme court registrar Harriet Nakukwago Ssali, Mayambala and copied to the chief justice, Mayambala has been advised to seek the service of a lawyer with a view of filling a formal application seeking for the inheritance of the said petition.

Mayambala Yesterday, petitioned the Supreme court objecting to National Unity party President Robert Kyagulanyi’s withdraw of his election petition and asked the supreme court to allow him to take it over.

In a letter dated 25th February 2021 and addressed to the Chief Justice, Mayambala contends that he is objecting to the said withdraw and has expressed interest in taking over the said petition from Kyagulanyi.

He is now seeking the court guidance on the legal procedure to inherit such a Petition and if the court can allow him to present new evidence in support of the said petition.

This is after Kyagulanyi’s team on Wednesday this week, officially filed their application seeking for leave to withdraw the said petition and is pending hearing and determination.

Kazinda corruption charges continue

By Sania Babirye

The Director of Public prosecutions has started reinstating corruption charges against the former principle accountant in the office of the prime minister Geoffrey Kazinda despite a constitutional ruling that stayed all pending charges against Kazinda in relation to his 2012 financial abuse and Embezzlement charges.

On the 12th of this month, the Supreme Court stayed the 7th August 2020, Constitutional Court ruling which directed that Kazinda be released from Luzira prison where he has been incarcerated since 2012 despite having served his five year jail term for embezzling refugee funds.

However, being dissatisfied, the DPP filed an appeal which is yet to be fixed.

Kazinda was arrested in 2012 and charged before the anti-corruption court with corruption related charges which included embezzlement, causing financial loss, forgery and abuse of office.

He has been in Luzira prison since 2013 when he was convicted on unlawfully possessing government stores and sentenced to five years and despite finishing the said sentence he is still held in prison due to pending charges that continue to be brought against him by the state.

Kyagulanyi officially files to withdraw presidential election petition

By Sania Babirye

Hearing of the application seeking for leave to officially withdraw Robert Kyagulanyi’s presidential election petition has been adjourned until its gazatted.

Chief justice Alifonse Owiny Dollo has informed Kyagulanyi’s legal team led by Medard Ssegona that according to the rules governing Election petitions, the said petition must be received by the court’s registrar who publishes a notice of intention to withdraw the petition and since Kyagulanyi’s legal team filed their application today, the gazetting had not been done.

The Chief justice adds that that if it is gazetted by Friday, the said application will be heard on Monday next week.

Justice Dollo has given Kyagulanyi’s lawyers up to today to file their second affidavit explaining that the law requires that in addition to the affidavit by Kyagulanyi, to support his application, his lawyer must also file an affidavit which Ssegona did not do.

He also ordered all parties including the respondents to file their affidavits by Saturday emphasizing that the process is meant to see that all the necessary legal process of withdrawing an election petition as it is in hearing an election petition is followed.

This morning Kyagulanyi’s lawyers officially applied for leave to withdraw the said petition on grounds that their client believes that he was not going to get justice he was seeking.

Kyagulanyi cites incidences like denying him to amend his petition and bring in fresh evidence, kidnapping, torturing and arresting his witnesses among other alleged injustices.

Kyagulanyi further faults three justices on the panel including the chief justice of biasness due to his close relationship with president Museveni including being a lawyer to President Museveni in the 2016 presidential Petition by the then Forum For Democratic change presidential candidate Rtd.col. Kizza Besigye.

On Tuesday, Justice Alifonse Owiny Dollo declined to recuse himself from hearing and determine the said election petition after city lawyer Male Mabirizi accused him of being biased on the same reasons and having met president Museveni at state house in Entebbe in an alleged secret meeting which he called unethical.

Bouncer sent to jail

By Sania Babirye

City hall court grade one Magistrate Valerian Tuhimbise jails 30 year old Eclas Kirinya a bouncer with Mess Bar to four months in Kitalya prison for defrauding 200,000 shillings from a taxi driver by pretending to be a KCCA law enforcement officer.

This is after Kirinya pleaded guilty to the charge of obtaining money by false pretense.

He however begged court to he lenient on him because the ongoing lock down on all bars by president Museveni has left him unable to feed him or his family forcing him into desperate measures.

He is said to have committed the said offence on the 9th of February 2021 at Arua Park in downtown Kampala.

Its alleged that on that fateful day at around Midday, the victim a one Shaban Wandera was working when the convict accused him of offloading and loading passengers from unauthorized stage.

Kirinya then presented himself as a KCCA law enforcement officer and arrested him but during the said arrest, .

However, during the arrest Kirinya asked Wandera to give him UGX 200,000 or else he takes him to police.

DJ survives jail after he was accused of theft

By Sania Babirye

A Disco jocker mixer (Dj) with one of the local television stations in Kampala Shafiq Kigundu survived spending a night at Kitalya government prison after city hall court grade one Magistrate Nabirye Fatuma grants him a 500,000 cash bail after he denied stealing a mobile phone valued at UGX 450,000 from a colleague.

Prosecution states that Kigundu a resident of Mawanda road in Kamwokya, and others still at large between February 2021 at NBS Television offices Naguru stole a mobile phone techno valued at UGX 450,000 the property of Ronald Kaye.

He returns to court on the 23rd of March for trial.

Dollo Decline To Recuse Himself

By Sania Babirye

The chief Justice Alifonse Owiny Dollo has declined to recuse himself from being part of the nine Justice panel set to hear NUP president Robert Kyagulanyi’s election petition which Kyagulanyi has since then, unofficially withdrawn accusing three judges on the panel led by the chief justice of biasness.

Despite Kyagulanyi’s announcement yesterday, the law permits any citizen who might be interested to take up the matter and have it heard by the Supreme Court.

Today, Mabirizi asked the chief Justice Alifonse Owiny Dollo to recuse himself from hearing the election petition on grounds that even if Justice Dollo thinks that he can not be influenced by president Museveni as his former lawyer in determining the said petition, he should rather do it for the public perception that is already tinted with negative criticism over his relationship with president Museveni who is the main respondent in the said petition.

Mabirizi further told the Supreme court presided over by a panel of nine Justices led by Alifonse Owiny Dollo that, the chief justice should recuse himself from the said case for the process of fair hearing to take place so that there is no cloud on the process of determining the said petition.

He added that public perception is key to a fair hearing in the eyes of the public which justice Dollo has to respect as a judicial officer by recusing himself even without any valid ground.

However, his application was dismissed and justice Dollo ruled that he will give his reasons in the full judgement on the 18th of next month.
Meanwhile, the Supreme court has still not received any written application from Kyagulanyi’s legal team to officially withdraw their election petition despite Kyagulanyi announcing his withdraw of the case citing lack of independence and biasness from some of the nine Justices led by the Chief Justice.

Mabirizi wanted Justice Dollo to recuse himself from participating in the hearing and determining the said election on conflict of interest.

Some of the grounds that Mabirizi alleges include that the chief justice is a former lawyer of president Museveni having represented him in 2006 during the Presidential Petition filed by Dr. Kizza Besigye .

Mabirizi further alleges that Justice Dollo met President Museveni in private on the 7th of this month in tendency of the said petition which he says is not fair in the interest of serving justice although the NRM head of legal services Oscar Kihika has since responded the said allegations claiming that the said meeting was not about the pending election petition.

According to Mabirizi, the Supreme court has jurisdiction, powers and duty to make orders necessary to achieve the end of justice or to prevent the abuse of process of court even by justices of the court and set aside judgement proved to be null and void after they been passed to prevent the abuse of court processes.

Mabirizi also wanted the court to stay the supreme court ruling presided over by Justice Dollo that refused Kyagulanyi to amend his petition and bring fresh evidence saying the said rulling is null and void.

In the said election petition, National Unity platform party president Robert Kyagulanyi is suing president Museveni, the Electoral Commission and the attorney general.

He wants the last court to nullify President Museveni’s 14th January 2021_victory on grounds that the said elections were not free and fair after not being conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the laws governing elections including the constitution and the Presidential elections act among others.

Other justices on the panel include Justice Dr Esther Kisaakye Kitimbo, Stella Arach-Amoko, Rubby Aweri Opio, Faith Essy Mwondha, Paul Kahaibale Mugamba, Ezekiel Muhanguzi, Percy Night Tuhaise, and Mike Chibita

CJ vows to crush anyone seeking to intimidate them

By Sania Babirye
The chief justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo says he will not be intimidated or bribed by any one while hearing and determining Robert Kyagulanyi’s election petition but will be guided by the judicial oath they took to deliver justice to all Ugandans .

Justice Dollo made the remark this morning while presiding over Kyagulanyi’s application in which he seeks more time to file his 127 affidavits after failing to meet the 14th july 2021 elections.

The remark comes after Kyagulanyi unofficially told Justice Dollo and two other justices on the panel including Mike Chibita and Ezekiel Muhaguzi to recuse themselves from the case over biasness.

However, Kyagulanyi’s lawyer Medard Ssegona told court that he has not been instructed by Kyagulanyi to file the application for recusal.

“If anybody thinks he can induce the Chief Justice with favours or intimidate him, be ready for a crash,”Dollo says.
Dollo adds that if there is any scheme to bias or intimidate them in their line of duty, then such schemes will be crushed.

He adds that they all took the oath to protect the constitution including doing their judicial work without fear of favour and in accordance to the constitution of Ugandan which principle they guided .

He adds that matters that circulate outside out they do not attach any importance to it and if anyone has any grievances with any judge on the panel , then they should bring the matter before them for legal dress.

The attorney general William Byaruhanga has also expressed what he called intimidation of judges by Kyagulanyi.

Kyagulanyi asks for another day to file more affidavits

By Sania Babirye

National Unity Platform party president Robert Kyagulanyi has officially filed an application before the Supreme court seeking for just one more day to file his remaining 137 affidavits including video footage and photos which he says will allow the Supreme court to inquire effectively and determine all questions in his petition.

The chief justice gave Kyagulanyi’s legal team up to 14th of this month as the deadline for submitting all their evidence, buy the team was only able to file only 53 affidavits by Sunday 14th and took the remaining affidavits to the Supreme court on Monday the 16th which were rejected by the chief justice because they were filling them past the deadline.

Law experts described justice Alifonse Owiny Dollo’s refusal to receive Robert Kyagulanyi’s affidavits after the deadline as illegal.

Male Mabirizi a constitutional lawyer says that Justice Dollo’s decision to reject Kyagulanyi’s 137 affidavit’s that were brought on Monday this week is contrary to rule 13(1) of the Supreme court rules which prevent it from refusing to receive documents filed outside time but to instead mark them as “filed out of time”.

After failing to beat the deadline, Robert Kyagulanyi’s legal team wrote to the chief justice requesting to have the court receive their affidavits including those of NUP members like Ali Bukeni aka Nubian Li who are currently locked up after being denied bail by the army court on grounds that the deadline given to them by the chief justice had elapsed.

According to a reply made by the chief justice and addressed to Kyagulanyi’s legal team of Anthony Wameeli and Company advocates dated 15th February 2012, the chief justice States that only 50 copies of affidavits filed before 5pm on the 14th of February will be allowed to be received by the Supreme court registry to make up the number required by the Supreme court.

During pre hearing, Kyagulanyi’s lawyers led by Medard Ssegona asked for more time explaining to justice Dollo and other members on the panel that they ate finding it difficult to have their affidavits and file them in time since most of their witnesses have been kidnapped by security while others are behind bars.

The case will be determined on the 18th of March.

In the said petition, Kyagulanyi who came second in the concluded general elections is contesting President Museveni’s victory on grounds that they election was not free and fair.

Other respondents in the case include the Electoral commission and the attorney general who have all asked the Supreme court to dismiss the said petition claiming that the elections were free and fair.

Owiny Dollo urges petitioners to let court do its work

By Sania Babirye

The Chief Justice of Uganda Alifonse Owiny Dollo has asked all petitioners in the concluded presidential election including parties involved in the Robert Kyagulanyi Election Petition and the Media to let the court do its mandated work instead of using social media as a kangaroo court.

While presiding over the pre trial hearing of Kyagulanyi’s petition, Justice Dollo noted that he has been seeing on the media some people who are party in the said petition already claiming that they are going to win the elections while mad sliding their opponents which justice Dollo says is unethical.

Dollo says although the courts of laws may not be perfect, but they have the mandate to deliver justice in such matters unlike Kangaroo courts that are illegal.

He has called all petitioners to strengthen the courts of law by letting them do their work and act responsible.

Sylvia Ntambi free at last, corruption cases against her withdrawn

By Sania Babirye

The Chairperson of Equal Opportunities Commission Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi is a free person after the Director of Public Prosecutions has withdrawn all corruption charges against her.

Anti corruption court judge Margaret Tibulya has dismissed the said charges after State Attorney Gloria Inzikuru presented withdraw letter dated 18th January 2021 indicating that DPP has lost interest in the matter.

Ntambi had been charged together with nine other equal opportunity employees for conspiring to defraud government more than 35 million shillings by allegedly paying themselves as per diem for editing and drafting Equal Opportunities Commission HIV/AIDS workplace Policy, yet none of the officials was reportedly entitled to it between January and December 2018.

According to the Prosecution the per diem in question was acquired by Agnes Enid Kamahoro, the Senior Personal Secretary Equal Opportunities Commission and later approved by Mpitsi Mujuni, the Secretary to the Commission, an act which caused financial loss to the government.

The Prosecution also contends that the monies which the accused persons accessed by the virtue of the different offices had been earmarked for sensitization on equity and rights issues in lower local governments in Karamoja region.

However Ntambi and her co accused denies the said charges and were currently out on bail after spending time on remand.