By Justine Kasule Lumumba
Fellow Ugandans and all those reading,
The National Unity Platform (NUP) president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine has finally withdrawn his petition challenging the election of President Museveni from court citing what he called the “mockery” of the justice system if Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo among others don’t recuse themselves from the hearing.
This came up after he suffered yet another setback on Monday after the Supreme Court declined to receive 130 affidavits from his lawyers.
This was during a press conference held at NUP Secretariat in Kamwokya. “We want to put the Supreme Court on notice that if this persists, we are not going to be part of that ‘mockery ‘ the next step is to take the matter to the public court,” Kyagulanyi said.
The Supreme Court had dismissed his application to amend the suit and include new grounds.
After the hearing of submissions by both Kyagulanyi and Museveni legal teams, Justice Stella Arach Amoko who read the unanimous ruling dismissed Mr. Kyagulanyi’s application on grounds that the issues he intended to add to the petition had already been included in the original petition.
The justices advised Mr. Kyagulanyi’s legal team led by Mr Medard Lubega Sseggona to file evidence by affidavits to prove the grounds they raised in the original petition.
While it’s within Mr. Kyagulanyi’s rights to withdraw his case from the Supreme Court, it’s important to note that there are procedures and consequences for withdrawing a case from court.
An application to withdraw the election petition shall have to be made in writing and If the application is granted ;
The petitioner shall be ordered to pay the costs of the respondents thereto for incurred or such portion thereof as the court may think fit;
The court shall direct that the notice of withdrawal shall be published in the office of the court.
It’s my opinion that political leaders should not use their selfish interests to put our institutions in disrepute.
Mr. Kyagulanyi had originally said he was not going to court which was within his rights but later changed his mind to go to court which was still ok and now he is running away from court for reasons best known to him with all sorts of wild allegations; Dr. Kizza Besigye was at one President Museveni’s personal Doctor, fellow combatant, NRM National political commissar but right now is an opposition leader.
The issue of Mr. Kyagulanyi alleging that Chief Justice Owinyi Dollo and Justice Mike Chibita should recuse themselves because they have ever worked with President Museveni is a far-fetched reason.
President Museveni has been in the struggle at the top level for over 50 years and in so doing has worked with most senior leaders in this country.
Besides those justices are officers of the court who swore an oath to uphold justice and their decisions are based on evidence adduced not acquaintances.
Kyagulanyi should refrain from playing mind games on Ugandans. Political demagoguery will never see good in any situation or court process.
He started by lambasting the media notably NBS TV for not declaring him the winner of elections as if NBS was the Electoral Commission.
Then he went for the religious leaders when he is quoted to have said, “religious leaders seem to have turned into business dealers. They fear Museveni more than God. I want religious leaders to reflect on the life that Janani Luwum lived,” Kyagulanyi said
And now he is turning his guns at the judiciary and the courts of law.
It should be recalled that in 2020 Justice Sekaana ruled in his favor during the NUP registration court case, Mr Kyagulanyi and his colleagues were jubilant and full of praise for the court system simply because the verdict was in his favor but now that the supreme rejects an application to amend evidence and he is advised how to do it, he is calling it a “mockery” notwithstanding the fact that his legal team obliged to the ruling.
Now that Mr. Kyagulanyi has opted to withdraw let him go ahead honorably and give others the decorum he wants for himself.
He should not create the impression that his decisions are being determined by foreign influence, let him not give his supporters false hope by not being truthful just like social media was awash with the falsehood concerning the American ship that docked in Mombasa.
The intimidating statements to the judiciary or for that matter to anyone will not be allowed to prevail and as NRM we shall defend our win and we have all the evidence to prove our victory.
Fellow Ugandan don’t be played, don’t allow to be played, originally they never wanted to go to court because they actually had no evidence but they continued to claim that they had.
On the insistence of their supporters and foreign funders, they reluctantly went to court but allegedly never filed all their evidence despite the fact that the court had set a timeline ( maybe intentionally to lay grounds for withdrawing his petition since he knew he had no evidence) and now on the dismissal of their application ( which is not out of the ordinary) they behaving like cry babies giving threats to withdraw their petition simply because they know they are losing.
Since we have come to the end of this chapter as NRM we intend to put our focus on the implementation of our manifesto, job creation, service delivery and generally securing the future of this country.
The writer is the secretary general of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).