Former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu wants court to declare President Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s nomination as a candidate in the 2021 presidential election as invalid and therefore overturn his re-election as president.
Kyagulanyi who popularly known as Bobi Wine last week filed before the Supreme Court an amendment to his presidential election petition in which he contends that as an incumbent, Museveni was ineligible to take part in the January 14, presidential election.
The National Unity Platform (NUP) president in an affidavit backing the amended petition states that Museveni was not qualified for election as president while in the office of the head of state, head of government, commander in chief and chairperson of the national security council.
He adds that because Museveni was the incumbent, he abused the presidency by commanding or directing forces under his command, control and authority such as the Special Forces Command, Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), Uganda Police Force, the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), Resident District Commissioners (RDCs), Local Defence Unit (LDU) and special police constables to brutalize, torture, maim and assault him, his agents and supporters. He adds that the forces also interfered with the electoral process to his benefit.
He further alleges that Museveni, during the election period, in the exercise of his powers as Commander in Chief, reshuffled forces with personnel ‘notorious for brutality and partisanship’ such as Lt. General Muhoozi Kainerugaba who was appointed as Commander of SFC and Major General Paul Lokech who was appointed as the deputy IGP, who then, according to him, perpetrated electoral violence and brutality against Kyagulanyi, other candidates and their respective agents and supporters.
Kyagulanyi also alleges that Museveni used his powers as the president to use government resources for the purpose of campaigning when he caused the disbursement of resources, during the election period, to the ‘EMYOGA’ poverty eradication initiative solely to influence and win the support of the beneficiaries.
“Cumulatively, the above acts…created insecurity and seriously compromised freedom, fairness and voter turnout in the 2021 presidential elections particularly in the petitioner’s stronghold districts/cities of Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono, Mpigi, Gulu, Masaka, among others where the electorate was greatly intimidated, terrified and horrified thereby affecting the percentage of voter turnout…,” Kyagulanyi’s petition reads in part.
Kyagulanyi also lists a number of cases where Museveni allegedly bribed off his supporters to change their allegiance. Among those listed that were given money, cars, and other inducements include Ashburg Kato, Ronald Mayinja, Bosmic Otim, Jenniffer Nakangubi commonly known as Full Figure, Abbey Sewakiryanga who is also known as Basajjamivule, and Andrew Mukasa Bajjo, among others.
He also names a number of NUP former parliamentary candidates who were allegedly bribed to abandon the party in different parts of the country. These include Jasper Ayebare who was the Rubanda East candidate and coordinator in Kigezi sub-region, Ochira Bosco Lawino, a former NUP Registrar and coordinator of for Nwoya district, Angalia Godwin Kasigwa, a former NUP parliamentary candidate for Buliisa County, and Sanya Wycliffe, the NUP parliamentary Candidate for Samia Bugwe South among others.
On Thursday, Kyagulanyi had wanted to file the amended petition but the Supreme Court Registrar declined the request saying that it was only the full panel of the Court that could grant him the leave to amend the petition.
On February 9, the Court will hear and determine whether the amendment should be accepted.
Oscar Kihika, the director of Legal Affairs at the National Resistance Movement (NRM) is putting up an objection to the amendment much as Kyagulanyi’s action cannot be discredited because he is exercising their constitutional rights.
“We are informed about the amendments made by the petitioners and on Tuesday, this application will be heard. Our team is following the matter and will accordingly respond to the amendments,” he told journalists at the NRM headquarters in Kampala on Sunday.
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