Fufa Requests for Chartered Plane for Burkinabe Assignment

Organizations that applied to join Amama Mbabazi’s petition in the Supreme Court have been accused of being biased, malady partisan and thus not qualifying for amicus curiae.

About 8 organizations including Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), ambulance Chapter Four, Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and Transparency International filed their application on March 10.
These participated in election observation under umbrella frameworks; Citizens Election Observers Network (CEON) and Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU).

The applicants were faulted on grounds of dwelling on election observation rather than legal expertise required for the petition.

Herbert Byenkya, a respondent lawyer representing Yoweri Museveni submitted that the applicants must possess structural material that’s relevant to court.

“We are not here to discuss the scope of the election observation. These applicants are in the wrong place,” he said.
Byenkya also cited the relationship between one of the applicants (Crispy Kaheru of CEON) and Kizza Besigye who is part of the democratic alliance (TDA). In his view, the relationship creates bias.

The applicants were also pinned for making statements in the past that portray the Electoral Commission as incapable of delivering a free and fair election.

“These organizations have previously produced reports saying that the EC is not independent enough to deliver a credible election. This would imply that while they set out to observe the elections, they already had drawn conclusions,” Byenkya said.

Similarly, the Attorney General represented by Mwesigwa Rukutana and McDusman Kabega who represents the EC asked court to dismiss the application.

“The applicant brings nothing useful to court to assist it in determining issues. However, these organizations can become witnesses by signing affidavits,” said Rukutana.

The applicants’ lawyers however insisted that the organizations possess valuable expertise to aid in the resolution of issues before court. They argued that the relevance of observers in an election petition is critical, making reference to former Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki’s use of observers’ Reports in 2001 and 2006 petitions.

“Our prayer is that court disregards extraneous issues like blood relations, mere statements and focus on factual submissions before it. The statements these organizations made in the past were in no regard to this petition,” said Nicholas Opio, a lawyer of the applicants.
Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) has sent out a plea to the government and all stakeholders to come on board and assist the national team, advice Cranes in ensuring they secure a chartered plane for travelling to Burkina Faso for the upcoming 2017 Afcon qualifiers.

The Cranes play the West Africans two matches in a space of four days with the first coming on Saturday 26th March away at the Stade du 4 Août in Ouagadougou and the return leg at Namboole three days later.

“Fufa is engaging government for support to acquire a chartered plane to take the team to Burkina Faso and immediately back after the game to prepare for the return leg, illness ” Fufa president Eng.  Moses Magogo told media during the weekly press conference held on Wednesday at Fufa house in Mengo.

The president added that the Burkina Faso contingent is expected to land in Uganda on Sunday and they have already booked  Sheraton Hotel in Kampala as their proposed residence.

In 2015, President Museveni through the State House kitty supported the Cranes to a tune of over UgX 1.5 Bn which included a chartered plane to Togo for the successful world cup preliminary round of qualifiers.; a result which the Fufa president believes can be replicated if the team gets a similar treat.

“We got good results against Togo because of adequate preparations. The same results can be acquired against Burkina Faso if accorded same support,” Magogo added.

Uganda is currently leading group D with six points, three ahead of Botswana and Burkina Faso who have three each. Only the top team in the pools makes it to the Finals in Gabon in 2017.

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