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Court proposes tough penalty for election culprits in Uganda

FILE PHOTO: Chief Justic Katureebe consults in at the Supreme Court during the Presidential election petition.  He this week launched a specialised court dubbed Standards, Wildlife and Utilities  while separately, The Court of Appeal has made recommendations to parliament.

THIS WEEK: The Court of Appeal has asked Uganda’s Parliament to amend the electoral laws governing election malpractice so that culprits can be barred for contesting for office for at least ten years.

A three member panel of the court; Justices Remmy Kasule, Elizabeth Musoke, Catherine Bamugemereire hearing parliamentary election petitions said a prohibition clause akin to Article 46 of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2009 that bars convicted corrupt officials from taking office for at least 10 years would act as a deterrent measure for those who engage in voter bribery and related electoral fraud.

The proposal comes in the wake of a number of politicians who keep contesting even after courts have nullified their victories on grounds of malpractice. NGOs have urged Parliament to quickly implement the court’s recommendation.

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Special court for power and water thieves

THIS WEEK: Suspects arrested over the rampant illegal water and power connections across the country will be tried in a specialised court dubbed Standards, Wildlife and Utilities Court.

The court will be operating from Buganda Road Court in Kampala. James Ereemye Mawanda, a Chief Magistrate, Gladys Kamasanyu and Agnes Mangeni, both at the rank of Grade One Magistrates have been tasked to preside over the court.

It will also hear cases involving wildlife poachers and those involved in illicit communication networks. Chief Justice Bart Katureebe who officiated at the launch of the court bemoaned the lack of fast-tracking and uniform sentencing among the courts that handled the cases previously.

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