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Court allows application for judicial review of ruling on Soroti city boundaries


Soroti , Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  The High Court in Soroti has allowed the Soroti District Vice Chairperson, Simon Peter Edoru Ekuu and the District Council Speaker, Stephen Olebe to apply for judicial review of the Soroti City Boundary case ruling. 

Edoru and Olebe are seeking the court to quash the Justice Wilson Masalu Musene judgement that reverted Aloet and Opiyai wards from Soroti City West to Soroti City East Division last week.

The suit that had been brought to the same court for review after the November ruling which annexed the same wards to Soroti City West Division was filed in court on Tuesday before Justice Dr Henry Peter Adonyo.

The applicants want the court to issue immediate orders to stay any proceedings and decisions under challenge about Soroti City Boundaries.

Edoru and Olebe have now dragged Local Government Minister, Raphael Magezi and Soroti LCV Chairperson, Gregory Egunyu to court as respondents in the matter. Justice Musene based his review judgement of March 10th, 2021 based on the affidavits sworn by the Magezi and Egunyu.

Magezi listed 14 grounds in support of the application then filed by Soroti Municipality MP, Herbert Edmund Ariko against Michael Enyagu Etadu, Robert Onanyang, Stephen Erienyu, Patrick Ejelu, Brian Omoding and the Electoral Commission. The minister, in his affidavit, attached declarations from the cabinet, Parliament and Uganda Gazette of 2020. He also produced a copy of the letter written to the EC Chairperson on the city boundaries of Soroti City.

Justice Musene, who presided over the case overturned his earlier decision on the two wards on grounds that he was not availed with all the records at the time. He quashed the affidavit by Edoru, who had indicated that the contested wards truly belonged to Soroti City West Division.

“Soroti District Council passed its resolution for the city in December 2019 when Aloet and Opiyai wards didn’t exist. Aloet was still a Parish in Arapai Sub County and Opiyai was also a Parish in Soroti Sub County. The guidelines for the creation placed the whole of Amen Town Council which hosted Opiyai ward and Arapai Town Council which had Aloet ward to Soroti City West Division”, Edoru said in the affidavit.

Edoru noted that he was shocked to see a letter from his boss, Egunyu to EC without consent or approval from the council purporting to clarify and suggesting the transfer of the said wards to Soroti East. He argued that the clarification was irregular.

Three out of six respondents in Ariko’s case have since written notice of appeal to the High Court registrar through their lawyers of Okurut, Okalebo, Otuke and Company Advocates informing him that they are not satisfied with last week’s court decision. 



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