By NANGAYI GUYSON
Kampala, Uganda -The Supreme Court in Uganda on Friday gave room Presidential aspirant Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine to withdraw his election petition seeking to overturn the victory of the incumbent President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
A panel of nine Supreme Court Justices led by the magistrate Alfonse Owiny-Dollo follows made a choice in an exceedingly concession from all parties to own the matter withdrawn.
In their brief ruling read by Justice Stella Arach Amoko, the Justices noted that upon careful consideration of the applying, the authorities attached to that and arguments from both parties and after reading the law, the leave to withdraw the petition has been granted.
The decision by Bobi Wine to withdraw the petition cements President Museveni’s January 14 victory allowing him to be sworn as President in May this year for an additional 5 year term.
His lawyers, led by Medard Lubega Sseggona had filed the appliance asking leave to withdraw the petition as a full.
Kyagulanyi pointed out six reasons for withdrawing the petition that are supported with arguments in an affidavit of twenty-two paragraphs. In keeping with 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 primary and third respondents to the Presidential elections petition respectively.
He also argued that the organs of the state just like the Uganda personnel and National Identification of Registrations of Persons Authority -NIRA, were getting used by the respondents to research and infringe on his privacy and that of his witnesses.
The musician turned politician also alleged that the court had applied the principles governing the Presidential Election Petitions to his disadvantage.
He cited the court’s decision rejecting his application to amending his pleadings.
“The petitioner’s application for extension of your time for filing of additional affidavits was disallowed thus frustrating effective Prosecution of the petition,” reads the appliance.
On February 11th, 2021, a panel of nine Supreme Court Justices led by the magistrate Alfonse Owiny-Dollo granted Kyagulanyi permission to bring additional affidavits not later than that day 2021. But Kyagulanyi, who wanted to create 200 affidavits, did not meet the deadline citing unusual circumstances.
He said the weird circumstances included the actual fact that his lawyers were operating mobile law firms because of insecurity and fear that state operatives may steal the evidence just like the case was during the Amama Mbabazi Presidential Election Petition in 2016. He also argued that state operatives seized their organization offices under the command of Museveni and therefore 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 appliance partly. In his affidavit supporting the appliance, Kyagulanyi’s says the choice to withdraw the Petition has been influenced by the foregoing factors and not by any corrupt bargain or consideration from the respondents or the 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 most effective of their knowledge and belief that no agreement or terms or of any kind has or are made or undertaking made in reference 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 identical laws also state that if the petition is withdrawn, the petitioner shall be vulnerable 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 conference will proceed with the new development. The rules governing the presidential election petitions allow the court to substitute a petitioner once he loses interest.
Bobi wine’s decision of withdrawing the case has not gone well with many Ugandans. One Saddened Ugandan who never wanted his name to be mentioned reacted like this;
“But let me ask… the questions are many…
If the evidence was really there and if it had been really overwhelming…
Why would gathering and presenting it be so difficult?
Why would that evidence depend upon one person’s movements from Magere?
Why would the web stop working interfere with the overwhelming evidence they claimed to possess gathered?
Why would those lawyers amend anything?
Even after being allowed to submit after the initial deadline?
Why would they then want to feature anything if the evidence had been there and it absolutely was overwhelming?
And then eventually withdraw?
If anybody visited court for any reason and that they had overwhelming evidence, would they really withdraw whether or not they felt unsure about the fairness of the court?
That is on a private level, now what if you were representing innumerable people, and a few even lost their lives or their loved ones on your behalf… would you simply 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 had been underwhelming. Basically, the actions of sour losers.
Retired Supreme Court Judge Prof George Kanyeihamba has expressed disappointment with the way National Unity Platform’s Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine and his lawyers managed the election petition resulting in its stalling. According to Kanyeihamba, the lawyers representing Bobi Wine are accountable for causing a stall within the case.
“If the lawyers had not dismissed that the judges were biased and attached to Museveni, how would Bobi Wine know. It’s their incompetence and that they are guilty,” Kanyeihamba said.
Kanyeihamba revealed that he tried to advise the lawyers and Bobi Wine but he was soon shown slight.
“A few days ago, Bobi Wine and his assistant came to the current house and said Prof what can we do. I said I can give evidence of what I saw and might also give my expertise as a constitutional lawyer.
He agreed and said he would include his lawyers and that I check with them. He then promised to bring the petition in addition the subsequent day so we undergo it. They never came.”
Kanyeihamba said that the lawyers are answerable for Bobi Wine’s actions.
“I don't blame Bobi Wine, he's an innocent man. One in every of his lawyers here said Bobi Wine agrees with me on what we must always present forward. Why then did they reject Bobi Wine’s advice that i might prefer to help?” he said.
Stella Nyanzi, a Former Kampala Woman MP aspirant, Ugandan human rights activist, poet, medical anthropologist, feminist, queer rights activist, and scholar of sexuality, birth prevention, and public health and a well-known critic to President Museveni has also attacked the handling of the petition in a very manner which is unfair to several Ugandans.
He shared a photograph of his new bulletproof car, Like a hero with a brand new gift on Christmas. How many other Ugandans need bullet-proof cars. To shield us from stray bullets let out by brutes?”
Reads the stanza to a poem the spit-fire Dr Stella Nyanzi posted on her Facebook wall during the week.
Its sentiments were raw, raising questions on Bobi Wine’s showboating on the tide of his luck to own a bulletproof car in a very potential combat zone. Dr Nyanzi wasn’t through with her Bobi-baiting poetry, however. Her subsequent poem had the hit-or-miss charm of a kikomando breakfast.
For she then posted an erotic poem entitled “withdrawal,” which attempted to sexualise Bobi’s withdrawal of his election petition.
Museveni, Electoral Commission and therefore the Attorney General haven't objected to the withdrawal. However, the trio asked court to condemn Mr Kyagulanyi to costs basing on his behavior including allegedly uttering out falsehoods, attacking the judicial officers, discussing issues before court through the media; and threatening to require his petition through the general public court which they observed as a mockery to the independence of the Judiciary among others.