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Museveni, EC, AG lawyers find supreme court registry closed

the evidence to be filed on behalf of the three respondents

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | Counsel for President Yoweri Museveni, the Attorney General and Electoral Commission have this morning found the Supreme Court registry closed. 

Last week, the Supreme Court issued strict timelines for hearing the presidential election petition by the National Unity Platform-NUP President, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu. 

The petition seeks to overturn the victory of the incumbent president, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in the January 14, 2021 polls.

In his ruling, the Chief Justice Owiny- Dollo noted that a presidential election petition must be determined expeditiously within the required time frame as provided for in the constitution to avoid a crisis. 

As a result, he noted that the registry would be open even during the weekends for all parties to file evidence while parties would also file and serve evidence to each other on the same day. 

The registry is thereby expected to be open 9am to 5pm. 

However, the counsel for the respondents arrived at 9:30 am and found the registry closed. 

The registrar, Harriet Ssali and her team had not yet arrived by the time of filing this story. 

However, the counsel who include Jet Mwebaze and Esau Isingoma (for Museveni), George Karemere for Attorney General and Enode Barata for Electoral Commission say they arrived in time to file 180 affidavits collectively from the three respondents.

According to the timelines, the petitioner had up to February 14, 2021, to file all affidavits that he intends to use as evidence.

The Chief Justice also gave the respondents up to February 20th to file their affidavits.

He said that in case of a rejoinder, the petitioner will have up to February 23 to file any affidavits.  Justice Owiny- Dollo directed all the parties to convene on February 24th for the conclusion of the pre-conferencing, saying if there is any other application it will also be made on that day.  

He explained that once the pre-hearing conference is done, the court will proceed by way of written submissions, which he described as the major components of the hearing. He, therefore, gave the petitioner up to February 27th to file his written submissions to allow the respondents to respond by March 2nd 2021. He also said the petitioner will respond to any arising by March 4, 2021.

The parties will have between February 25th and 26th to cross-examine witnesses and tender whatever electronic evidence will be available. According to the Justices, on March 5th the parties will appear physically to strictly make oral submissions within 30 minutes each specifically highlighting the reasons why the case should be determined in their favour.   



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