Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Unity Platform-NUP president, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu has applied to the Supreme Court to give him one more day to file additional affidavits supporting his presidential election petition.
Kyagulanyi, the first runner-up in the January 14th, 2021 general elections ran to the Supreme Court to overturn the election of the incumbent, President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on grounds that the election was marred by irregularities such as intimidation, arrest, bribery and violence that resulted in the death of his supporters among others.
When the petition came up for conferencing, the panel of the nine Supreme Court Justices led by the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo issued strict timelines for the parties to file all the necessary evidence to the petition. Court gave Kyagulanyi’s team up to February 14, 2021, while the Attorney General, Electoral Commission and Museveni who are respondents to the suit were given up to February 20, 2021, to respond to the matter.
However, on the last day of the deadline Kyagulanyi through his lawyers filed 53 affidavits to support his petition. His lawyers returned to the Supreme Court on February 15, 2021, with 127 additional affidavits, which were rejected on grounds that they had come after the allocated time to the petitioner. The court decision didn’t go down well Kyagulanyi.
As a result, on Wednesday evening his team filed an application seeking one more day to file additional affidavits, photos and video footage backing their case. In his application, Kyagulanyi says the additional affidavits are necessary to allow the court to effectively inquire and determine all questions in the petition.
Kyagualanyi also argues that he spent ten days under house arrest after the elections and couldn’t get sufficient time to gather all the evidence within the five days that were left for him to file his petition. “The respondents shall not be prejudiced by the extra time being granted to the petitioner to file and serve the additional evidence in the petition”, reads the application in part.
The application is backed by sworn affidavits by Kyagulanyi and Anthony Wameli, the head of NUP’s Legal Department. In his affidavit, Kyagulanyi says the additional evidence brings to the fore various cases of abduction, imprisonments, torture and murder of his supporters by the incumbent. He also says the evidence shows how the results declared by the Electoral Commission were falsified in favour of Museveni.
“It brings to fore how the petitioner’s stronghold districts /cities of Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono, Mpigi Gulu, Masaka and not the 1st respondent’s (Museveni) stronghold districts of Kiruhura, Isingiro, Bunyangabo, Kazo, Kamwengye, Kyankwanzi were the epicenter of intimidation and violence against voters and how this affected the percentage voter turnout in favour of the first Respondent as against the petitioner” adds the affidavit.
The evidence also shows how some people cast votes in the names of deceased persons and those in the diaspora and how the Commission relied on an incomplete, improper and incoherent voter’s register among other concerns. Court has fixed the application for hearing this Friday. Wameli explained to URN that they have had difficulties bringing the necessary evidence.