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Details of Sematimba Court of Appeal ruling

Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI |  Uganda’s Court of Appeal has confirmed NRM’s Peter Sematimba as the validly elected MP of Busiro South constituency in Wakiso district.

Three Justices, including out-going deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma,  Catherine Bamugemereire and Cheborion Barishaki overturned the High Court’s decision by Justice Lydia Mugambe that had nullified Sematimba’s election on grounds of lack of the requisite academic qualifications.

The Court of Appeal on Monday faulted Justice Mugamba for misdirecting herself on the law regarding issuance of certificates of equivalence by National Council of Higher Education (NICHE) and reaching  a wrong conclusion of cancelling Sematimba’s “A’level certificate.”

The justices also noted that  Justice Mugambe had no right to interfere with NICHE’s work since the certificate of equivalence it issued to Sematimba, was subject to thorough consultation by UNEB.

The court ruled that Justice Mugambe reluctantly rejected the evidence of Sematimba’s classmates which proved  that he indeed studied and obtained a Diploma in Electronic and  Computer Techinology from Pacific Coast Techinical Institute in  USA, before it closed in 1989.

The justices therefore ruled that  DP’s  Stephen Ssekigozi failed to discharge his burden of proving that Ssematimba’s academic documents are forged.

The court  allowed Sematimba’s appeal and  ordered that Ssekigozi pays the MP costs both in  the High Court and in the Court of Appeal.

Ssekigozi, is a brother to the immediate former MP of the are, Julius Balikuddembe Mutebi who succeeded their father Patrick Musisi following his death in the 7th Parliament.

Sematimba, a veteran radio presenter and chairperson of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) won the February 2016 hotly contested elections, whose result was later nullified. In the election then, Ssekigozi was second and NBS television’s Simon Kaggwa Njala was third.

 

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