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MP Wakayima petitions court to dismiss appeal against his victory

Nansana Municipality MP Hannington Wakayima Musoke Nsereko. URN photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Nansana Municipality Member of Parliament Hannington Musoke Wakayima Nsereko has filed an application in the Court of Appeal seeking to strike out an appeal challenging his victory.

Wakayima through his lawyers of Lex Uganda Advocates and Solicitors wants the appeal in which his rival, Musoke Hamisi Walusimbi wants him thrown out of Parliament over name discrepancies dismissed, for having been filed out of the stipulated time of 14 days.

Walusimbi lost to Wakayima for the Nansana municipality parliamentary seat. Walusimbi rejected the final results and petitioned the High Court in Kampala listing eight grounds for his dissatisfaction. But he later abandoned seven grounds and decided to challenge Wakayima’s victory for lack of academic qualifications citing discrepancies in his academic documents.

According to Walusimbi, some of the documents had Hannington Wakayima Musoke while others carried Musoke Hannington. He also said that the voter’s register has Hannington Wakayima Musoke Nsereko.

As such, Walusimbi asked the court to nullify Wakayima’s victory saying that the person who was elected as Nansana Municipality MP doesn’t have the minimum academic qualifications to be in Parliament.

In September, Justice Henrietta Wolayo dismissed Walusimbi’s petition and declared Wakayima as the duly elected Nansana Municipality member of parliament, saying that the petitioner had failed to prove that his rival lacked the required academic qualification for election as a member of Parliament.

Judge Wolayo ruled that Wakayima possesses the Uganda Certificate of Education-UCE, Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education-UACE, and a diploma in Secondary education from ITEK. Dissatisfied with Justice Wolayo’s decision, Walusimbi has decided to proceed to the Court of Appeal.

Walusimbi faulted the Judge for having reportedly erred in fact and law when she ruled that Wakayima possessed the minimum academic qualification for election as Member of Parliament whereas not and also for holding that Wakayima Nsereko is the same person as Musoke Hannington who sat Ordinary Level at Old Kampala Senior Secondary School and obtained UCE and UACE certificates.

However, Wakayima wants Walusimbi’s appeal record struck out for having been filed out of time. He contends that Walusimbi’s lawyers filed their notice of appeal on September 24th, 2021, another copy was served to the Court of Appeal on September 27th, 2021 and the real appeal raising grounds of appeal was filed on November 24th, 2021 and signed off by the Court of Appeal Registrar on December 1st, 2021, long after the 14 days for filing election appeals had elapsed.

“That I am aware from the reading of the plain text of the rules 43, and 82 of the Court of Appeal Rules and the Parliamentary Elections (Interim Provisions) (Election Petition) Rules and coupled with legal counsel from my lawyers that a person is entitled to apply to the Court of Appeal seeking orders to strike out any notice of appeal for non-compliance with the rules governing the filing and prosecution of appeals in the Court of Appeal”, reads Wakayima affidavit.

According to Wakayima, his rival did not comply with the law and therefore the intended appeal is incompetent because Walusimbi reportedly failed to take essential steps for the appeal and to follow the prescribed time for the appeal process under the rules of procedure.

Wakayima says that he has been advised by his lawyers led by Richard Latigo whose advice he believes to be true that in the interest of justice, the Court of Appeal should strike out the notice of appeal and all the documents filed there under.

Latigo says that Walusimbi flouted the procedure and in law, there is no appeal tenable when one breaches a legally required process.

The Court of Appeal is yet to fix this matter for hearing together with 93 other election matters arising from last year’s elections and High Court decisions.

In 2017, the Court of Appeal threw Wakayima out of Parliament, arguing that while he was nominated as Hannington Wakayima Musoke Nsereko, the name was not on the voter’s register. The court observed that the registered voter was Musoke Hannington Nsereko.

The same court which was ruling on an appeal arising from a petition by former Nansana Municipality MP Robert Kasule Sebunya ruled that the discrepancies in Wakayima’s names indicated that he also lacks the minimum academic qualifications.

However to correct the mistake, Wakayima executed a deed poll denouncing the many order of his names that landed him in trouble and maintained Wakayima Musoke Hannington Nsereko hence his reigning victory.

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