Court convenes for Presidential Election Petition Verdict

There is tight security in and around Kampala ahead of the Supreme Court ruling on a presidential election petition filed by former presidential candidate john Patrick Amama Mbabazi.

The petition is challenging the outcome of the February 18 general election, in which the National Resistance Movement Candidate Yoweri Museveni was re-elected president for another five year office term.

Museveni was declared winner with 60.7 percent of the vote. He was followed by Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye with 35.37 percent. Amama Mbabazi, an independent candidate only managed 1.43 percent of the vote. The race attracted eight candidates.

But Mbabazi says the election was a fraud. He accuses Museveni, the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General of conspiring to give President Museveni an undeserving victory.

In the petition, Mbabazi contends, among others, that the Electoral Commission did not comply with the law in holding the presidential election and as a result President Museveni was irregularly re-elected.

The nine-judge panel led by the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe and justices Faith Mwondha, Eldad Mwangutsya, Stella Arach Amoko, Jotham Tumwesigye, Augustine Nshimye, Esther Kisakye, Okumu Wengi and Lillian Tibatemwa will be delivering the verdict in a while, beating the constitutional deadline for which the petition, filed on March 1st, is to be disposed off.

However, all roads leading to the Supreme Court in Kololo have been sealed off.

Counter Terrorism Police officers are joined by VIIPU police personnel and plain clothed security officers deployed inside and outside the courtroom. Two check points are maintained, one at the gate and the other at the entrance to the court room where all entrants are subjected to thorough checks.

Persons whose names do not appear on the accreditation list developed by the judiciary are denied access to the courtroom which is filled to capacity with persons who started converging as early as 6am.

In attendance is Badru Kiggundu, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, EC Commissioners, and politicians-from both the ruling party and different opposition political parties, lawyers, civil society organizations and members of the Public.

Movement in and around the courtroom is also restricted.

The much anticipated verdict will be based on six key issues that were agreed on. These include whether there was non-compliance with the provisions of the Presidential Elections Act and Electoral Commission Act in the conduct of the 2016 presidential election.

Court will also determine whether the said election was not conducted in compliance with the principles laid down in the provisions of the Presidential Elections Act and the Electoral Commission Act and whether such non-compliance affected the result of the 2016 presidential election in a substantial manner.
The ruling will also address concerns on whether an offence under the Presidential Elections Act was committed in connection with the presidential election by the first respondent, Yoweri Museveni, personally or with his knowledge, consent or approval.

 

 

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Presidential election petition pre-hearing set for 7th March

The Supreme Court has set Monday March 7 to start preliminary hearing of the election petition challenging President Yoweri Museveni’s victory in the February 18 general election.

A statement issued by the registrar of the court Tom Chemutai invited all concerned parties to attend the pre-hearing conference without fail. The parties that have been invited include; the Directorate of Legal Service, National Resistance Movement –NRM party Secretariat, the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General.

The other parties invited are; Akampurira and Partners Advocates, Muwema and Company Advocates and Solicitors, and Twinobusingye Severino and Co Advocates; being the law firms representing the petitioner John Patrick Amama Mbabazi.

“The honorable justices of the Supreme Court have set Monday March, 7 2016 as the pre-hearing date for the petition referred to above.” reads in part the statement by the Registrar of the court, adding:  “this is to invite you to the pre-hearing conference scheduled to take place at 10am at the Supreme Court Hall.”

Pre-hearing conference is when parties in a civil matter meet the judge of the court to iron out administrative disputes intended to ease the flow of the actual trial. It is held before the actual hearing.

At the time of submitting this story, it was not clear how many justices of the court will preside over the pre-hearing conference though all the nine justices including the Chief Justice are expected to form the panel that will hear the actual petition when it starts sometime next week.

This presidential election No. 1 of 2016 was lodged before the Supreme Court on Tuesday this week by former presidential candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, seeking to nullify the election of  President Museveni on grounds that the EC did not comply with the electoral laws and that there was also outright voter rigging.

Results announced by the Commission indicate that the National Resistance Movement party candidate Yoweri Museveni garnering 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.

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A closer look at Mbabazi’s Election petition

Go forward party president Amama Mbabazi successfully filed a petition at Supreme Court  on 1st March which was the last day all presidential had to challenge the out outcomes of the elections. The petition reads as follows;

Amama Mbabazi – Petitioner
V
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Electoral Commission and the Attorney General – first, second and third respondents

The petition of Mr Amama Mbabazi of Nyonyi Gardens Kololo Uganda, whose name is stated at the foot of this petition, shows:

1. Your petitioner Amama Mbabazi is a person who was a candidate at the above mentioned Presidential Election and is an aggrieved candidate within the meaning of the Presidential Election Act.

2. And your petitioner states that the election was held on the 18th day of February 2016 when Abed Bwanika, Amama Mbabazi, Baryamureeba Venansius, Benon Buta Biraaro, Kizza Besigye Kifefe, Mabirizi Joseph, Maureen Faith Kyalya Waluube and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni were candidates and the Electoral Commission has returned Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as the validly elected President by its Declaration dated 20th February 2016.

3. And your petitioner contends that the following offences and illegal practices were committed in connection with the said Presidential election that:

(a) (i) Contrary to Section 64 (1) and (4) of the Presidential Elections Act hereinafter referred to as “the Act” the 1st Respondent [Mr Museveni] and his agents with his knowledge and consent or approval gave a bribe of hoes to the voters of West Nile with intent that they should vote the 1st Respondent and to refrain from voting the petitioner and other presidential candidates.
(ii) Contrary to Section 64 (1) and (4) of the Presidential Elections Act between mid-2015 and 16th and 18th of February 2016 the 1st Respondent through his agents and with the knowledge and consent or approval gave a bribe of Ushs250,000 (Uganda Shillings) to voters in every village throughout Uganda on two occasions with intent that they should vote the 1st Respondent and to refrain from voting the petitioner and other candidates

(b) Contrary to S.69 (1) (a) and (b) of the Act the 1st Respondent made reckless statements while referring to the petitioner and candidate Kizza Besigye that he was not prepared to hand over power to wolves, “emishega” and that the followers-cum-supporters of the petitioner and Kizza Besigye were “mad”.

(c) Contrary to Section 26 (b) of the Act the 1st Respondent organized, under the Uganda Police, a political partisan militia, the so-called “crime preventers” under the superintendence of the Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura, a paramilitary force –cum-militia to use force and violence against persons suspected of not supporting candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni thereby causing a breach of peace, disharmony and disturbance of public tranquility and induce others to vote against their conscience in order to gain unfair advantage for candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

(c) Contrary to Sections 24 (5) (a) (i) (ii) (b) (c) (d) and 7 of the Act the 1st Respondent on several occasions threatened to arrest your petitioner and candidate Kizza Besigye and used derogatory and reckless language when he stated that your Petitioner and his supporters had touched “the anus of a leopard” and would see what would happen to them and this had the effect of scaring voters to vote the 1st Respondent for their own safety.

(d) Contrary to Sections 24 (5) (a) (i) (ii) (b) (c) + (d) and 7 of the Act the 1st Respondent on various occasions threatened that if the voters elected your petitioner or anybody else, Uganda would go back to war and this had the effect of influencing the voters to vote the 1st Respondent so as to maintain the status quo.

(e) That the above illegal practices and offences were committed by the 1st Respondent personally or and his agents and supporters with his knowledge and consent or approval through the Police, some elements of the Military, Special Forces and the organs of the State attached to his office under his command as the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Chairman of the National Defence Council and High Command and Chairman of the National Resistance Movement.


4. Your petitioner says that on … September 2015, contrary to S.3 (1) (2) of the Act, under the directive of the 1st Respondent, the Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura and his officers prevented your petitioner, as an aspirant from conducting consultations with voters in preparation for his nomination as a presidential candidate.

5. Under the directive of the 1st Respondent some officers under the command of General Kale Kayihura of the Uganda Police Force applied force and arrested your petitioner along Jinja Road in Njeru Town Council near the Owen Falls Dam Bridge and publicly humiliated him and later detained him at Kira Road Police Station thereby giving unfair advantage to the 1st Respondent who on the other hand was criss-crossing the country undeterred under the guise of “wealth creation” (sic) when he was in effect campaigning.

6. Contrary to Section 3 of the Act when your petitioner was subsequently allowed to go, he was hounded and trailed by some members of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces, the Uganda Police, a motley crew of all the state security agencies and the so-called Crime Preventers (sic) who would go as advance teams or would go at the time of the consultations to dissuade voters and members of the public from attending the Petitioner’s meetings and actually dispersed the petitioner’s meetings in diverse places in eastern Uganda, instilled fear and harassed all who attended the said meetings, and arrested all those who carried your petitioner’s manifestos, posters and other campaign materials thereby frustrating his efforts and giving unfair advantage to candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.


7. Contrary to Sections 9 and 10 of the Act:
(a) The 1st Respondent was nominated by the 2nd Respondent (Electoral Commission) illegally on the 3rd day of November 2015 when the 1st Respondent had not yet been sponsored by the National Resistance Movement on whose ticket he purportedly contested.
(b) The 2nd Respondent acted improperly when it extended the deadline to give the 1st Respondent more time instead of declaring the 1st Respondent’s nomination papers null and void under S.11 of the Act after the deadline had passed and after all other candidates had submitted their respective documents thereby giving the 1st Respondent unfair advantage.


8. Contrary to Section 12 (i) (e) of the Election Commission Act, the 2nd Respondent failed to accord equal treatment to your petitioner when it failed to prevail upon authorities and agencies of government such as the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation and the New Vision Publishing Corporation through their electronic and print media to render equal coverage to him to enable him present his programmes but they offered preferential treatment to the 1st Respondent.

9. Contrary to Section 26 of the Act, the 1st Respondent directed a one [retired] Major General to fly the 1st Respondent’s helicopter fully decorated with the 1st Respondent’s campaign posters and party colours to land at Boma Ground Fort Portal and instilled fear and uncertainty and in effect interfering with the scheduled electioneering activities of your petitioner culminating in the disruption of your petitioner’s rally.

10. Contrary to Section 27 of the Act, the 1st Respondent made use of government resources which are not ordinarily attached to and utilized by the President without proper authorization by law thereby having unfair advantage over your Petitioner.


11. Contrary to Section 28(a) (b) (c) of the Act on 18th February 2016 officials of the 2nd Respondent delivered to many polling stations the voting materials late and at many polling stations voting did not commence until 2:00 pm and in some places at 4:00pm and yet others at 8:30pm and ended after 1:00am in other places.

12. Contrary to the provisions of Sections 33 and 48 (4) and (5) of the Act on the polling day during the polling exercise the Petitioner’s polling agents were chased away from the Polling Stations in many districts of Uganda and as a result the Petitioner’s interests at those polling stations could not be safeguarded.


13. Contrary to Section 30 (2) and (5) of the Act, the 2nd Respondent and its agents/servants allowed voting before the official polling time and allowed people to vote beyond the polling time by people who were neither present at polling stations nor in the line of voters at the official hour of closing.

14. Contrary to Section 31 (8) of the Act, the 2nd Respondent’s agents/servants in the course of their duties, allowed commencement of the poll with pre-ticked ballot papers, ballot boxes already stuffed with ballot papers and without first opening the said boxes in full view of all present to ensure that they are devoid of any contents.


15. Contrary to Section 32 of the Act, the 2nd Respondent’s agents/servants/the Presiding Officers in the course of their duties and with full knowledge that some people had already voted allowed the same people to vote more than once.

The petition of Mr Amama Mbabazi of Nyonyi Gardens Kololo Uganda, whose name is stated at the foot of this petition, shows:

1. Your petitioner Amama Mbabazi is a person who was a candidate at the above mentioned Presidential Election and is an aggrieved candidate within the meaning of the Presidential Election Act.

2. And your petitioner states that the election was held on the 18th day of February 2016 when Abed Bwanika, Amama Mbabazi, Baryamureeba Venansius, Benon Buta Biraaro, Kizza Besigye Kifefe, Mabirizi Joseph, Maureen Faith Kyalya Waluube and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni were candidates and the Electoral Commission has returned Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as the validly elected President by its Declaration dated 20th February 2016.

3. And your petitioner contends that the following offences and illegal practices were committed in connection with the said Presidential election that: 
(a) (i) Contrary to Section 64 (1) and (4) of the Presidential Elections Act hereinafter referred to as “the Act” the 1st Respondent [Mr Museveni] and his agents with his knowledge and consent or approval gave a bribe of hoes to the voters of West Nile with intent that they should vote the 1st Respondent and to refrain from voting the petitioner and other presidential candidates.

(ii) Contrary to Section 64 (1) and (4) of the Presidential Elections Act between mid-2015 and 16th and 18th of February 2016 the 1st Respondent through his agents and with the knowledge and consent or approval gave a bribe of Ushs250,000 (Uganda Shillings) to voters in every village throughout Uganda on two occasions with intent that they should vote the 1st Respondent and to refrain from voting the petitioner and other candidates
(b) Contrary to S.69 (1) (a) and (b) of the Act the 1st Respondent made reckless statements while referring to the petitioner and candidate Kizza Besigye that he was not prepared to hand over power to wolves, “emishega” and that the followers-cum-supporters of the petitioner and Kizza Besigye were “mad”.

(c) Contrary to Section 26 (b) of the Act the 1st Respondent organized, under the Uganda Police, a political partisan militia, the so-called “crime preventers” under the superintendence of the Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura, a paramilitary force –cum-militia to use force and violence against persons suspected of not supporting candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni thereby causing a breach of peace, disharmony and disturbance of public tranquility and induce others to vote against their conscience in order to gain unfair advantage for candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

(c) Contrary to Sections 24 (5) (a) (i) (ii) (b) (c) (d) and 7 of the Act the 1st Respondent on several occasions threatened to arrest your petitioner and candidate Kizza Besigye and used derogatory and reckless language when he stated that your Petitioner and his supporters had touched “the anus of a leopard” and would see what would happen to them and this had the effect of scaring voters to vote the 1st Respondent for their own safety.


(d) Contrary to Sections 24 (5) (a) (i) (ii) (b) (c) + (d) and 7 of the Act the 1st Respondent on various occasions threatened that if the voters elected your petitioner or anybody else, Uganda would go back to war and this had the effect of influencing the voters to vote the 1st Respondent so as to maintain the status quo.

(e) That the above illegal practices and offences were committed by the 1st Respondent personally or and his agents and supporters with his knowledge and consent or approval through the Police, some elements of the Military, Special Forces and the organs of the State attached to his office under his command as the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Chairman of the National Defence Council and High Command and Chairman of the National Resistance Movement.

4. Your petitioner says that on … September 2015, contrary to S.3 (1) (2) of the Act, under the directive of the 1st Respondent, the Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura and his officers prevented your petitioner, as an aspirant from conducting consultations with voters in preparation for his nomination as a presidential candidate.

5. Under the directive of the 1st Respondent some officers under the command of General Kale Kayihura of the Uganda Police Force applied force and arrested your petitioner along Jinja Road in Njeru Town Council near the Owen Falls Dam Bridge and publicly humiliated him and later detained him at Kira Road Police Station thereby giving unfair advantage to the 1st Respondent who on the other hand was criss-crossing the country undeterred under the guise of “wealth creation” (sic) when he was in effect campaigning.

6. Contrary to Section 3 of the Act when your petitioner was subsequently allowed to go, he was hounded and trailed by some members of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces, the Uganda Police, a motley crew of all the state security agencies and the so-called Crime Preventers (sic) who would go as advance teams or would go at the time of the consultations to dissuade voters and members of the public from attending the Petitioner’s meetings and actually dispersed the petitioner’s meetings in diverse places in eastern Uganda, instilled fear and harassed all who attended the said meetings, and arrested all those who carried your petitioner’s manifestos, posters and other campaign materials thereby frustrating his efforts and giving unfair advantage to candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.


7. Contrary to Sections 9 and 10 of the Act:


(a) The 1st Respondent was nominated by the 2nd Respondent (Electoral Commission) illegally on the 3rd day of November 2015 when the 1st Respondent had not yet been sponsored by the National Resistance Movement on whose ticket he purportedly contested.
(b) The 2nd Respondent acted improperly when it extended the deadline to give the 1st Respondent more time instead of declaring the 1st Respondent’s nomination papers null and void under S.11 of the Act after the deadline had passed and after all other candidates had submitted their respective documents thereby giving the 1st Respondent unfair advantage.


8. Contrary to Section 12 (i) (e) of the Election Commission Act, the 2nd Respondent failed to accord equal treatment to your petitioner when it failed to prevail upon authorities and agencies of government such as the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation and the New Vision Publishing Corporation through their electronic and print media to render equal coverage to him to enable him present his programmes but they offered preferential treatment to the 1st Respondent.

9. Contrary to Section 26 of the Act, the 1st Respondent directed a one [retired] Major General to fly the 1st Respondent’s helicopter fully decorated with the 1st Respondent’s campaign posters and party colours to land at Boma Ground Fort Portal and instilled fear and uncertainty and in effect interfering with the scheduled electioneering activities of your petitioner culminating in the disruption of your petitioner’s rally.

10. Contrary to Section 27 of the Act, the 1st Respondent made use of government resources which are not ordinarily attached to and utilized by the President without proper authorization by law thereby having unfair advantage over your Petitioner.

11. Contrary to Section 28(a) (b) (c) of the Act on 18th February 2016 officials of the 2nd Respondent delivered to many polling stations the voting materials late and at many polling stations voting did not commence until 2:00 pm and in some places at 4:00pm and yet others at 8:30pm and ended after 1:00am in other places.

12. Contrary to the provisions of Sections 33 and 48 (4) and (5) of the Act on the polling day during the polling exercise the Petitioner’s polling agents were chased away from the Polling Stations in many districts of Uganda and as a result the Petitioner’s interests at those polling stations could not be safeguarded.


13. Contrary to Section 30 (2) and (5) of the Act, the 2nd Respondent and its agents/servants allowed voting before the official polling time and allowed people to vote beyond the polling time by people who were neither present at polling stations nor in the line of voters at the official hour of closing.

14. Contrary to Section 31 (8) of the Act, the 2nd Respondent’s agents/servants in the course of their duties, allowed commencement of the poll with pre-ticked ballot papers, ballot boxes already stuffed with ballot papers and without first opening the said boxes in full view of all present to ensure that they are devoid of any contents.


15. Contrary to Section 32 of the Act, the 2nd Respondent’s agents/servants/the Presiding Officers in the course of their duties and with full knowledge that some people had already voted allowed the same people to vote more than once.

16. Contrary to Art. 61 (1) (e) of the 1995 Constitution and Section 12 (f) and Section 18 of the Electoral Commission Act, the 2nd Respondent failed in its statutory duty of properly compiling and securely maintaining the integrity of the National Voters’ Register and instead illegally retired the duly compiled Voters’ register and purported to create another using data compiled by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.


17. Contrary to Section 35 (1) and (2) of the Act, the 2nd Respondent failed to identify voters by their respective voters cards but instead applied an unreliable, slow and suspect biometric identification machines thereby denying legitimate registered voters their right to vote and creating room for persons not duly registered to vote.

18. Contrary to Section 12 (b) and (c) of the Electoral Commission Act 2005, the 2nd Respondent failed to control the distribution and use of ballot boxes and ballot papers resulting in the commission of numerous election offences under Part X of the Act as hereunder:-
(a) Unauthorized persons got possession of ballot papers and other ballot documents relating to the election and used them during the election.
(b) Unauthorized persons and/or officials of the 2nd Respondent used the ballot documents acquired to stuff ballot boxes, tick ballot papers on behalf of the voters, vote more than once and/or doctor figures in the Declaration of Results Forms (DRs) and Tally sheets.

19. Contrary to Section 33 of the Act, the 2nd Respondent’s agents/servants the Presiding Officers failed to prevent the Petitioner’s polling agents from being chased away from Polling Stations and as a result the Petitioner’s agents were unable to observe and to monitor the voting process.


20. Contrary to Sections 30 (4) and 35 of the Act, the 2nd Respondent and its agents/servants, the Presiding Officers in the course of their duties allowed people with no Valid Voter’s Cards to vote or denied those who had cards from voting.

21. Contrary to Section 43 of the Act the 2nd Respondent and its agents/servants in the course of their duties allowed people with deadly weapons, to wit soldiers and the so-called Crime Preventers at Polling Stations – a presence which intimidated many voters to vote for the soldiers’ boss and candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni while many of those who disliked being forced to vote for that candidate stayed away and refrained from voting at all.

22. Contrary to Section 48 of the Act the 2nd Respondent’s agents/servants in the course of their duties denied the Petitioner’s Polling Agents information concerning the counting and tallying process.


23. Contrary to Section 49 of the Act the 2nd Respondent’s agents/servants allowed the voting and carried out the counting and tallying of votes in the forced absence of the Petitioner’s agents whose duty was to safeguard the Petitioner’s interests by observing the voting, counting and tallying process and ascertaining the results.

24. Contrary to Section 12 (1) (e) and (f) of the Electoral Commission Act the 2nd Respondent failed to ensure that the entire Presidential Electoral process was conducted under conditions of freedom and fairness and as a result your Petitioner’s and his agents’ campaigns were interfered with by some elements of the military including the Special Forces and the so-called Crime Preventers under General Kale Kayihura.


25. The Petitioner’s agents and supporters were abducted and some arrested by some elements of the army to prevail upon them to vote for the First Respondent or to refrain from voting contrary to Section 76 (b) of the Act.

26. Contrary to Sections 72 () and (j) and 73 (b) of the Act some of the 2nd Respondent’s agents/servants the Presiding Officers/Polling Assistants in the course of their duties ticked ballot papers in the 1st Respondent’s favour and later gave them to voters to put in the ballot boxes and others interfered with ballot boxes and stuffed them with already ticked ballot papers, and failed to prevent “table voting” in some areas such as in Kiruhura District and in most areas of the cattle corridor in Uganda.


27. The commission of the herein mentioned offences and illegal practices by the 1st Respondent and instances of non-compliance with the provisions of the law by the 2nd Respondent are proved by electronic evidence, affidavit evidence and several reports of eminent observer teams which shall be relied upon at the hearing.

28. In the result, such non-compliance with the provisions of the Presidential Elections Act 2005 and of the Electoral Commission Act as aforesaid affected the result of the Presidential Election in a substantial manner as hereunder:
(i) The number of actual voters on the Voters’ Roll/Register remained unknown and some people were disfranchised and the number of votes cast during the election at certain Polling Stations exceeded the registered number of registered voters or the ballot papers delivered at the station.
(ii) The identity of some of the voters could not be verified.
(iii) The electoral process regarding the voters’ register was full of serious flaws and some of the voters were denied the chance and sufficient time to correct those flaws.
(iv) No sufficient time was allowed for the Petitioner and his agents and supporters to scrutinize the voters roll/register and take corrective measures regarding the same.
(v) The Petitioner’s Polling Agents were denied the opportunity to safeguard their candidate’s interests at the time of voting, counting and tallying of votes and in the absence illegal voters voted while legitimate voters voted more than once.
(vi) The Petitioner was unduly hindered from freely canvassing support by the presence of some members of the military and so-called crime preventers and militia who intimidated the voters.
(vii) It cannot positively be ascertained that the 1st Respondent obtained more than 50% of valid votes of those entitled to vote.

• Therefore your Petitioner prays that this Honourable Court declares:-
(a) That Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was not validly elected as President.
(b) That the election be annulled.
• The Petitioner be awarded costs of this Petition.
• The Petition is accompanied by the Petitioner’s Affidavit together with other Affidavits sworn by deponents whose names appear in a list attached hereto and marked “A” and more affidavits to be filed later.

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Kawempe Parish II LC3 polls halted due to candidate’s symbol mix up

Electoral Commission has suspended the elections of the directly elected LC 3 councilor for Kawempe parish in Kawempe division due to a mix-up in the candidate’s symbols on the ballot paper.

The affected candidates are Kassim Buule Male and Abdu Kinene, both independents.  Male was assigned a symbol of bicycle instead of a radio.  His rival Abdu Kinene was assigned a radio instead of a bicycle.

David Kusasira, a polling assistant at Mpererwe primary school polling station told URN, that no new date has been set for the fresh election. Greenheart Mugerwe, Assistant Registrar Kawempe Division, says the polls have been put on hold until further notice.

He told URN this morning, that Electoral Commission will announce a new date for the fresh polls. By the time of cancelling the polls 30 voters had cast their votes.

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Election petition hearing to cost tax payers close to 100 million shillings

The Amama Mbabazi election petition is to cost tax payers close to 100 million Shillings.

On Tuesday, Mbabazi petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify the February 18th presidential elections results which gave National Resistance Movement party candidate Yoweri Museveni another five year term of office. Museveni has been in power for 30 years.

Mbabazi faults Museveni of openly bribing voters in breach of electoral laws of the country.  He also faults Electoral Commission for failing to comply with provisions of electoral laws citing failure to establish a tally center as provided for under section 54 of the presidential election act 2005.

Mbabazi also notes that the Electoral Commission failed to handle electoral materials in accordance with its mandate as some ballot papers were seen on the streets and recovered from different places.

Supreme Court Registrar Tom Chemutai told Uganda Radio Network that the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe is expected to constitute a quorum of justices to hear and conclude the matter within 30 days as provided for by law.

He disclosed that the 30 day’s Supreme court hearing is expected to cost the tax payers close to Shillings 100 million.

Chemutai said given the gravity of the petition, the Supreme Court will conduct business even on weekends. He adds that they intend to erect tents outside the courtroom and install screens to allow members of the public follow the hearing.

 

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Besigye wants police to vacate his Kasagati residence

Former Forum for Democratic Change- FDC party Presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye has petitioned Kasangati Magistrates’ Court, seeking orders to evict security personnel deployed outside his residence.

The filing of this application to have Besigye freed from what police says is preventive arrest, comes barely a week after the police mounted a barricade outside his Kasangati residence in Wakiso District and restricted his movements outside his home.

Police says that its presence is intended to limit Besigye’s movements during the post-election period on grounds that intelligence information indicates that the top opposition leader plans to cause mayhem in the city in protest of the outcome of the February 18 polls.

Results declared by the Electoral Commission indicate that the National Resistance Movement party candidate Yoweri 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.

But he, and all the other contenders in the race, said the poll was a rigged to make Museveni the ultimate winner. On the basis of the discontent, police has continually deployed at Dr Besigye’s home over the last ten days.

Lawyers David Mpanga and Yusuf Nsibambi filed the petition seeking to end police presence in Besigye’s home.

A similar application was filed after the 2011 Presidential elections after Besigye was arrested for attempting to participate in the second phase of the famous Walk to Work protests.

Besigye had in the previous application wanted court to issue orders to police to vacate his residence unconditionally.

Accordingly, court then presided over by Grade One Magistrate Jessica Chemeri, ruled that it was unlawful for the police to confine Besigye at his residence since his home is not a gazzeted detention center in law.

At the time of filing this story, the court had not yet set a hearing date to hear this application.

 

 

 

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European Union calls upon EC to upload election results online

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) is  encouraging  the Electoral Commission to publish without delay the detailed results from each polling station for the presidential and parliamentary elections online, including scanned copies of the Declaration of Results Forms. The EU EOM Chief Observer, Mr Eduard Kukan says this would enable voters, as well as the candidates, to comprehensively evaluate the election results.

He says the Electoral Commission’s accountability is very important in the post-electoral environment adding that t such steps as the publication of inclusive information on election results constitute international best practice in the conduct of democratic elections. He points out that Pro-active publication of information of public interest is enshrined in international standards to which Uganda has committed itself with the aim of respecting citizens’ fundamental freedoms and rights. He said the EU EOM will continue to observe the post-electoral environment. The electoral process is completed only when all candidates have rightfully exercised the relevant legal avenues without fear, intimidation or other undue restrictions.

Police have acted lawfully, professionally, conducted ourselves with utmost restraint in the face of incredible provocation -Kayihura

This Police statement is to make clarifications, and inform the general public about the circumstances surrounding the continuing regulation, and close monitoring of the movements and activities of Rtd Col. Dr. Kiiza Besigye, by the Police, since Monday, 15th February 2016 todate.

This is because there is continued campaign of distorted information, speculations, biased, and unfounded, as well as unfair criticism of Police actions, as well as outright lies regarding the handling of    Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye by the Uganda Police. First of all, we wish to state, at the very beginning that the responsibility for the actions that Police has taken involving Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye during, and after the campaigns lies squarely on his shoulders and that of his unruly and indisciplined supporters.

Indeed, contrary to propaganda in the media, in all our actions, Police have acted lawfully, professionally, conducted ourselves with utmost restraint in the face of incredible provocation. A case in point is the violent assault by two foreign journalists on the DPC, Kasangati, who, in spite of the attacks, kept cool, and a calm demenour, and by his conduct actually disproved the unacceptable insults they were hurling at him.  We are reviewing the video footage of that incident, after which appropriate action will be taken.

Let us begin with the incidents of Monday, 15th February2016, in the City, when, in the morning, at Punjani roundabout, Rtd Col Dr. Kiiza Besigye, then a Presidential candidate with a rowdy group of supporters, attempted to force his way, into the City centre, in an illegal procession, moreover on a busy business day with very heavy traffic.  Since he had no scheduled programme in the City centre, traffic police redirected him and the crowd to use alternative routes to Makerere university where he had a scheduled campaign rally.

He refused the guidance of the officers, and, instead, together with the rowdy crowd, (who we, later, got to learn were the infamous Power 10 (P 10) group), illegally occupied the Punjani junction, and blocked the heavy traffic on Jinja-Kampala road.  The rowdy group pelted police officers, and members of the general public with stones forcing the Police to disperse them, and, after, engaging Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye, in vain, including offering to escort him to Makerere university, the Police escorted him to his home.

Later in the day, he returned to the City from Kasangati, gathering rowdy crowds along the way, especially the youth, who must have been the P10 group, occupied Wandegeya traffic lights junction, after failing to force their way into the City centre claiming that they were headed for Nasser road!!  The Police had cleared the passage to Makerere university under the mistaken belief that      Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye was headed for a rally.  After the Police dispersed the rowdy crowd, allowing traffic to flow, and business life to continue, Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye was escorted back to his home in Kasangati by the Police.

Secondly, so as to prevent further confrontation with Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye, who was scheduled to campaign in Nakawa Division, the Police, on the night of 15th February 2016, met and agreed with the organizers on a detailed programme of  his campaign in the Division.  However, even then, although, generally, the movements of  Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye through Nakawa division, the next day, Tuesday, 16th February 2016,  was peaceful and smooth, in the evening hooligans who were part of his convoy attacked NRM supporters, who were returning to their homes from the NRM rally at Kololo, tore their party t-shirts, stole their properties, and stoned vehicles in Kinawata and in the Bugolobi area.  Police arrested over 50 thugs.

Thirdly, again, on Thursday, 18th February2016, Rtd Col Dr. Kiiza Besigye and a group of his supporters stormed and trespassed on security premises in Naguru, and under the supervision of Rtd Col Dr. Kiiza Besigye, a senior Police Officer was assaulted and tortured by mob action.  Rtd Col Dr. Kiiza Besigye demanded to enter and search the security premises together with the violent people he had gone with. He, falsely, alleged that it was a place where “rigging” was taking place.  Obviously, this was a pretext, as he clearly knew where and how voting, counting, and tallying had taken place or was taking place, transparently, in the open, and in the presence of agents of all candidates under the management and supervision of the Electoral Commission.

The false claims by Rtd Col Dr. Kiiza Besigye were clearly meant to discredit the electoral process, cause confusion, and incite and enrage the public into violence.  After that incident, Rtd Col Dr. Kiiza Besigye was escorted by the Police to his house in Kasangati.
Fourthly, on Friday, 19th February 2016, we received information that                    Rtd Col Dr. Kiiza Besigye and other leaders of FDC intended to declare and announce results of the Presidential elections.  Obviously, since this was in violation of the Constitution and the law, and would cause confusion, the Police quickly acted and prevented it from happening.  It should be noted that, under Section 57 of the Presidential Election Act, it is only the Electoral Commission that has the mandate to declare results.

Section 83 of the Presidential Election Act prohibits interference with any duty under the Act (including declaring results). Indeed, to confirm our information, we found Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye and other leaders at the FDC Headquarters at Najjanankumbi, with journalists, preparing a Press Conference.  Morever, through social media platforms and sms messages, the FDC had made their intentions known publicly. The Police officers I sent attempted to engage with the FDC leadership in vain.  They were defiant.  Their supporters attempted to block Entebbe highway prompting the Police to intervene and restore public order.  Rtd Col Dr. Kiiza Besigye and other FDC leaders were then arrested, briefly held, and later released.

Rtd Col Kizza Besigye was, then escorted back to his home in Kasangati. Fifthly, on Saturday, 20th February, 2016, the Electoral Commission pursuant to its constitutional and lawful mandate, declared the results of the Presidential election, and the winner of the elections.  Rtd Col Dr. Kiiza Besigye’s agents absented themselves and therefore did not collect their copy of the results.  Subsequently, on 21st February, 2016 Rtd Col Dr. Kiiza Besigye released two statements and addressed the press at his Kasangati  home. The first statement was to the youths, inciting them and calling on them to “take over their country”. The second statement was an announcement calling all his supporters to accompany him to offices of the Electoral Commission along Jinja road, ostensibly to pick his copy of the results and to “claim their future back”.

This procession was to occur on Monday, 22th February 2016.  It is now, common knowledge that any procession, like any public meeting, must be carried out in accordance with the Constitution and the law, in particular the Public Order Management Act (POMA).  He had not bothered to notify the Police as required by the law.  Moreover, it should be noted that on that day, schools were beginning and parents would be taking children to school, meaning there would be more traffic in the City. The Police released a public statement calling on Rtd Col Dr. Kiiza Besigye to respect the law as well as the rights of parents and their school going children, as well as the business community, and not go ahead with his planned unlawful procession that had the potential for violence, given our earlier experiences with rowdy youth accompanying his convoy.

Nevertheless, on 22rd February 2016, Rtd Col Dr. Kiiza Besigye attempted to leave his home and lead that procession prompting the Police to hold him under preventive arrest.  Again, yesterday, Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, he attempted to go ahead with his plans, but Police stopped him. Clearly, therefore, the Police actions regarding Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye are justifiable both in law and in fact.  We have a duty to protect the people and their property, and ensure there is law and order in this country.  Moreover, the Constitution is clear that individual rights and freedoms are not absolute.

Article 43 states that in enjoyment of freedoms and rights, no one should prejudice the rights and freedoms of others and public interest, (in this case, public order).
Accordingly, therefore, the regulation, and close monitoring of the movements and actions of Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye is within the constitutional and legal mandate of the Uganda Police, and is a consequence of his utterances and activities that amount to incitement to violence and defiance of the law. But even then, and contrary to propaganda in the media, we wish to make the following clarifications:

Rtd Col Kizza Besigye is not under house arrest.  He is allowed unlimited access to his lawyers, family and party officials, among others, and is not in any way hindered from preparing to legally challenge the results of the Presidential Elections if he so chooses to do so. FDC offices have not been closed, and their activities relating to elections are ongoing.  Police has not, as is claimed in the media, confiscated

FDC declaration forms or done anything to interfere with the legitimate activities of FDC. In conclusion, since Rtd Col Kizza Besigye has not retracted his statements of defiance and incitement to violence, Police shall continue to regulate and closely monitor his movements so that he does not pose danger to public peace and national security.  Moreover, we have information that his planned procession is not just a procession, but rather beginning of a planned and generalized campaign of violence in the City and select municipalities across the country.

Clearly, this is supported by the public utterances of Rtd Col Dr. Kiiza Besigye. As much as possible, we shall continue to constructively engage him and other FDC leaders urging them to cooperate with us to ensure that peace, law and order are maintained in our country, and advise them to seek legal redress rather than resorting to violence in addressing whatever grievances they may have.

General Kale Kayihura
Inspector General of Police
24 February, 2016

 

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Lukwago wins mayoral seat warns government against obstructing him

Re-elected Kampala city Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, has warned President Yoweri Museveni not to waste time planning for his ouster from City Hall, saying he doesn’t have time for personal wars.

Addressing the media shortly after he was declared re-elected city Lord Mayor, Lukwago asked the president not to attempt to erect obstacles in his way as he perform his duties as Lord Mayor.

Lukwago was declared re-elected with 176, 637 votes from 82 percent of the polling stations in Kampala against 49,366 votes garnered by his closest rival, the National Resistance Movement-NRM party candidate, Daniel Kazibwe.

He told journalists that he has nothing personal against Museveni or those who subscribe to his ideology.

Lukwago said under his new mandate, he will not compromise on accountability and corruption.

The embattled Lord Mayor was locked out of office three years ago following an impeachment by a group of Councillors, mostly NRM members. His relationship with Kampala City Council Authority Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi has been frosty.

In November 2013, 29 KCCA councilors controversially impeached Lukwago after the Justice Catherine Bamugemeirere tribunal found him guilty of abuse of office, incompetence and misconduct.

This prompted Lukwago to challenge his impeachment in the same court, which ruled the proceedings null and void.

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Business man in Masaka dismisses Polling station from his premises

Polling at Bata Cell station delayed because of a disagreement with a businessman only identified as Kizza, who evicted the station from his premises, saying it was disrupting his business.  The polling station is located at Hobert Street in Katwe-Butego division.

Kizza added that the Electoral Commission and area leaders never sought for permission from him before placing the station next to his business.  Polling resumed after the officials shifted the polling station a few meters away from the building.

At Town Yard polling station, polling had not started by 8:20am. Although one of the candidates in the district chairman’s race  Joseph Kalungi was at the station just in time to cast his vote, the materials had not been delivered, over an hour later.

At Market Cell polling station located inside Lions Nursery school, polls had not yet opened by 8:30am despite the fact that materials had arrived. Charles Nyombi, the presiding officer said that they were still waiting for five voters to witnesses the opening of polls.

Farouk Kawuki, Jude Mbabaali’s agent at Market cell polling station attributes the slow start of the polls on frustration from the presidential and parliamentary elections held last week.

He says that although people gathered at polling stations as early at 6am, polling did not start until after 9am.

 

 

 

 

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