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Fate of MP Kato Lubwama’s seat hangs in balance

The fate of Rubaga South MP Paul Kato Lubwama’s seat will be determined by court as a formal challenge to his election for lack of requisite academic qualifications has been submitted.

Habib Buwembo, a registered voter of Rubaga South Constituency in Kampala on Monday formally filed his petition in the High Court. He is seeking orders setting aside area MP Kato Lubwama’s election and a fresh poll be conducted.

This after Justice Margret Oguli Oumo permitted him to challenge the legislator’s academic qualification – even though out of time-  having found out that there was unchallenged evidence of fraud in his academic documents.

Buwembo also wants court to declare that Kato’s nomination, declaration and the publication in an official gazette by the Electoral Commission as the validly elected MP was fraudulent, having lacked the minimum formal education of UCE and UACE.

According to the petitioner, Lubwama lacks the Primary Leaving Examination Certificate (PLE), Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) and Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) or its equivalent which are a requirement to becoming an MP.

“Your petitioner (Mr Buwembo) contends that the 1st respondent (MP Lubwama) was not validly nominated and elected for the post of Member of Parliament for Rubaga South Constituency since at the relevant time, he had not completed the minimum formal education of Advanced Level or its equivalent,” the petition reads in part.

Buwembo contends that Kato was illegally admitted to Makerere University for Mature Entry as well as awarded a diploma in Music Dance and Drama.

Makerere University has been sued for having erroneously admitted Lubwama on a Mature Age Entry Scheme in 1992 when at the time; he did not qualify for the same mature entry scheme.

Buwembo , the FDC secretary general for Rubaga South Constituency argues that Lubwama states that at the age of 22 in 1992,he was admitted on mature age entry scheme, yet he was below the minimum age of 25 years for the Mature Age Entry Scheme.

The petitioner further faults Makerere University for failing to initiate a process of recalling the diploma awarded to Kato Lubwama in Music, Dance and Drama even after his bringing to the attention of the alleged illegality of Lubwama’s academic papers; like not having passed his Uganda Certificate of Education.

Through his lawyers of Center for Legal Aid, the petitioner wants court to declare that MP Lubwama’s February 18 election as Rubaga South MP, was irregular and therefore, his victory should set aside and fresh elections be conducted.

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