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Kato Lubwama suit: Parties refuse to receive judgment

 

FILE PHOTO: Kato Lubwama

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parties in a case in which Rubaga South Member of Parliament Kato Lubwama is seeking to block a petition challenging his election have declined to receive a judgment by the Court of Appeal.

The team comprising lawyers Samuel Muyizi, Nalukoola Luyimbazi and Isaac Ssemakadde, said they did not know the Judge who was appointed to replace the former Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma who led the three-member panel that heard the appeal.

Kavuma retired from the bench in December 2017 before concluding the matter. The other members of the panel included Justices Cheborion Barishaki and Hellen Obura.

According to the parties, the Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo told them in October 2018 that a new member was to be appointed to replace Justice Kavuma.  However, he never made any communication to that effect to date. They demanded to know the judge to allow them adopt their previous arguments or make changes.

Justice Cheborion Barishaki, who had planned to deliver the judgement today asked the parties to return to court after two weeks, saying his colleagues Justice Obura and the Deputy Chief Justice, Alphonse  Owiny Dollo are out of the country.

Background   

The Rubaga South Legislator, Kato Lubwama ran to the Court of Appeal in 2017 through his lawyers, Samuel Muyizi and Caleb Alaka seeking to quash orders by High Court Judge Margaret Oumo Oguli allowing a petition filed by a voter Habib Buwembo, challenging his academic documents.

In his application, Buwembo argued that Kato Lubwama lacks the requisite academic qualifications to be in Parliament.  He claimed that Kato Lubwama lacks documents showing where he sat Primary Seven, Senior Four and Senior Six.

According to Buwembo, Kato Lubwama connived with Makerere University and was admitted for a diploma in Music, Dance and Drama in 1992 without attaining the minimum mature age entry, which is 25 years.

Kato Lubwama was reportedly 22 years of age when he was admitted at Makerere University. Buwembo also sued Electoral Commission for nominating Kato Lubwama as a parliamentary candidate without the requisite academic qualifications.

As a result, Kato Lubwama ran to the Court of Appeal, saying the application was filed in bad faith and brought before court out of the stipulated period of filing election petitions. Aggrieved parties are required to go to court in a period of not less than 60 days but Buwembo went to court a year later.

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