Museveni was validly elected in spite of EC failings – Supreme Court

The Republic of Uganda
In The Supreme Court of Uganda At Kampala
Presidential Election Petition No. O1 of 2016

(Coram: Katureebe,C.J; Tumwesigye, Kisaakye,Arach Amoko, Nshimye, Mwangusya ,Opio-Aweri, Mwondha, Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza.)Amama Mbabazi …Petitioner
Versus
Yoweri Museveni…1st Respondent
Electoral Commission… 2nd Respondent
Attorney General…3rd Respondent
Professor Oloka Onyango & 8 Others……….. Amici CuriaeDecision of the court
The petitioner, who was one of the candidates in the presidential election that was held on February 18, 2016, petitioned the Supreme Court, under the Constitution, the Presidential Elections Act (PEA) and the Electoral Commission Act. He challenged the result of the election and sought a declaration that Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, was not validly elected and an order that the election be annulled.
On February 20, 2016, the 2nd respondent declared the election results as follows;
– Abed Bwanika 86,075 (0.93 per cent)
– Amama Mbabazi 132,574 (1.43 per cent)
– Baryamureeba Venansius 51,086 (0.55 per cent)
– Benon Biraaro 24,675. (0.27 per cent)
– Kizza Besigye 3,270,290 (35.37 per cent)
– Mabiriizi Joseph 23,762 (0.26 per cent)
– Maureen Faith Kyalya Waluube 40,598 (0.44 per cent)
– Yoweri Museveni 5,617,503 (60.75 per cent)The petitioner contends that the election was conducted without compliance with the provisions and the principles of the Presidential Elections Act, 2000; the Electoral Commissions Act, 1997 ( hereinafter referred to as the “PEA”, 15 and the “ECA” ) and the 1995 Constitution and that this affected the result of the election in a substantial manner. For this, he faults the 2nd respondent.

Among the specific complaints against the 1st respondent are that several illegal practices and electoral offences were committed by him either personally, or with his knowledge and consent or approval.

The petitioner made no specific complaint against the 3rd respondent but several allegations were made against public servants and security personnel.

The 1st respondent denied the petitioner’s allegations of breaches of the law. The 2nd respondent opposed the petition and contended that the election was held in compliance with the provisions of the electoral laws and asserted that, if there was any noncompliance, which was denied, it did not affect the results of the election in a substantial manner.

The 3rd respondent opposed the petition and also contended that the Attorney General was improperly joined as a party to the petition.
All the respondents sought the dismissal of the petition with costs.

At the commencement of the hearing, counsel for the petitioner applied under Article 126 of the Constitution, Section 100 of the Civil Procedure Act and Rule 15 of the Presidential Elections (Election Petitions) Rules, 2001 vide Miscellaneous Application No. 1 of 2016 to amend the petition. The application was allowed and the amended petition was filed on the 7th March 10 2016. The respondents filed their answers to the amended petition on the 9th March 2016.
Two applications were brought before court prior to the hearing of the petition for leave to intervene as amicus curiae in the petition. The first one, Professor Oloka Onyango & Others (MA No. 2, 2016), was brought by lecturers from Makerere University Law School jointly.

The second application, Foundation for Human Rights Initiative & Others, (MA No. 3, of 2016), was brought by civil society organisations. Court allowed Miscellaneous Application No. 02 of 2016 and dismissed Miscellaneous Application No. 3 of 2016. The Makerere University lecturers filed their amicus brief on March 17, 2016, which was copied to the parties.

The hearing commenced on March 14, 2016, and ended on March 19, 2016. Article 104 of the Constitution and Section 58 of the Presidential Elections Act require that the petition must be inquired into and determined expeditiously and court must declare its findings not later than 30 days from the date the petition was filed. Judgement was thus set to be delivered on March 31, 2016.

In accordance with the Presidential Elections (Election Petitions) Rules 1996, the parties filed affidavit evidence in support of each party’s case. Furthermore, the chairman of the 2nd respondent, Engineer Dr Badru Kiggundu was cross-examined by the petitioner’s counsel. Although the petitioner stated in his affidavit that he had annexed affidavits set out in a list mentioned as Annexture ‘A’ as well as copies of Election Observers reports that was not the case.

These affidavits were in fact never filed in court nor were the Election Observer Reports. The petitioner, however, filed other affidavits on or about March 10, 2016. At the pre-hearing conference, the parties agreed on the following facts:

1. That there was a presidential election conducted by the 2nd respondent on February 18, 2016.

source: Daily Monitor Uganda

April 1st, 2016 | by

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