Kyagulanyi officially applies to supreme court to withdraw presidential election petition
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The former National Unity Platform-NUP Party presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu has formally applied to the Supreme Court asking to withdrawal his presidential election petition.
His lawyers, led by Medard Lubega Sseggona filed the application this morning asking leave to withdraw the petition as a whole.
Kyagulanyi lists six reasons for withdrawing the petition that are supported with arguments in an affidavit of 22 paragraphs. According to Kyagulanyi, his witnesses are being abducted, tortured, harassed, and intimidated by state security operatives at the watch of President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and Attorney General, the first and third respondents to the presidential elections petition respectively.
He also argues that the organs of the state like the Uganda Police Force and National Identification of Registrations of Persons Authority -NIRA, are being used by the respondents to investigate and infringe on his privacy and that of his witnesses. The musician turned politician also alleges that the court has applied the rules governing the Presidential Election Petitions to his disadvantage. He cites the court’s decision rejecting his application to amending his pleadings.
“The petitioner’s application for extension of time for filing of additional affidavits was disallowed thus frustrating effective Prosecution of the petition,” reads the application. On February 11th, 2021, a panel of nine Supreme Court Justices led by the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo granted Kyagulanyi permission to bring additional affidavits not later than February 14 2021. But Kyagulanyi, who wanted to bring about 200 affidavits, failed to meet the deadline citing unusual circumstances.
He said the unusual circumstances included the fact that his lawyers were operating mobile law firms due to insecurity and fear that state operatives may steal the evidence like the case was during the Amama Mbabazi Presidential Election Petition in 2016. He also argued that state operatives seized their political party offices under the command of Museveni and the Attorney General’s agents, which made it difficult for him to file relevant affidavits and evidence in support of his petition on time.
“The Petitioner lost time during the illegal house detention. But this honorable court is more inclined towards the strict timelines, which has disadvantaged the Petitioner to the disadvantage of the respondents”, reads the application in part. In his affidavit supporting the application, Kyagulanyi’s says the decision to withdraw the Petition has been influenced by the foregoing factors and not by any corrupt bargain or consideration from the respondents or any other person.
According to Section 20 Subsection 3 of the Presidential Elections Act, “an application for leave to withdraw a petition shall be supported by an affidavit of the Petitioner and his or her advocate, if any stating to the best of their knowledge and belief that no agreement or terms or of any kind has or have been made or undertaking made in relation to the petition or, if any lawful agreement has been made, stating the terms of the agreement.”
Kyagulanyi’s application is supported by his own affidavit. The same laws also state that if the petition is withdrawn, the petitioner shall be liable to pay costs to the respondent. The Supreme Court had earlier on scheduled the conferencing for Kyagulanyi’s main presidential election petition today. It’s unclear whether or not the conferencing will proceed with the new development.
The rules governing the presidential election petitions allow the court to substitute a petitioner once he loses interest. Unconfirmed reports indicate that former presidential candidate, John Katumba may take on the petition. Katumba could neither confirm nor deny the allegation, saying he is still studying the situation to inform his next move.
He promised to meet with our reporter to explain his position and next move. Kyagulanyi ran to the Supreme Court challenging the election of the president, Museveni saying the entire electoral process was marred by several illegalities such as voter bribery, intimidation, favoritism and arrests of his supporters among others.
But let me ask… the questions are many…
If the evidence was really there and if it was really overwhelming…
Why would gathering and presenting it be so difficult?
Why would that evidence depend on one person’s movements from Magere?
Why would the internet shut down interfere with the overwhelming evidence they claimed to have gathered?
Why would those lawyers need to amend anything?
Even after being allowed to submit after the initial deadline?
Why would they then want to add anything if the evidence had been there and it was overwhelming?
And then eventually withdraw?
If anybody went to court for any reason and they had overwhelming evidence, would they really withdraw even if they felt unsure about the fairness of the court?
That is on a personal level, now what if you were representing millions of people, and some even lost their lives or their loved ones on your behalf… would you just withdraw, because you don’t trust the court, yet you had overwhelming evidence? How disappointing.
Unfortunately, it really seems the evidence was just not there or it was underwhelming. Basically, the actions of sour losers.
Let’s just hope and pray…
That 2026 will be better, and that candidates will have improved their approaches to some of these things, or that we will have much better candidates and much better reasons for voting.
That people won’t be threatening or glorifying Libya-style chaos, and that innocent people won’t be getting killed or abducted.
That people won’t be abusing those who ask questions or express different opinions.
That we won’t be reduced to cheap multiparty politics of mere colours, slogans, symbols, and individuals.
That we will have done away with the emerging disturbing and divisive rhetoric based on religion, “Banyarwanda” “Baganda” “Northerners” “Westerners” “Easterners”.
That we will be able to discuss politics and the future of our country as mature self respecting and patriotic Ugandans without propaganda that drags our country’s name through the mud, without inciting violence, hooliganism, teargas, bullets, or seeking foreign interference at the expense of our sovereignty.
That the internet trolls and abusing bots will have gotten tired or gotten serious.
By 2026… it’s possible.
We can do this.
My new Uganda
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTY
I hope Saddened Ugandan leaves in the Mars or Pluto to be asking such unusual irrelevant questions. Uganda is here for us all.
“Uganda is here for us all.” That’s obvious. But some of you try to foreignize other Ugandans if one from your ethnic group is not the president. That’s how your sentiment comes about.
Justice! Justice! Justice! I wish you are treated in your own sense of Justice Uganda would be a good place for all tribes, religion and all humanity.
Uganda is acountry for justice!! Let justice be used correctly than treating people on wrong way my their people ..