Ntungamo Municipality Member of Parliament (MP), Gerald Karuhanga and Kabweri Constituency legislator, Francis Gonahasa have petitioned the Auditor General over the delayed disposal of election petitions by the Court of Appeal.
The legislators noted that a number of election petitions are still pending at the Appellant Court headed by the Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma; and are now calling for a performance audit of the Court.
Section 66(2) of the Parliamentary Elections Act (2005) provides that an election petition appeal shall be heard and disposed of within 6 months from the date of filing.
Karuhanga however, pointed out that the administration of justice as far as the election petitions are concerned was mismanaged right from allocation to case management.
Karuhanga accused Justice Kavuma of poorly administering the Court of Appeal and sitting on several cases.
“We passed the Parliamentary Elections Act which stipulated the time of 6 months to handle the electoral petition. It is now more than 6 months and some cases haven’t been disposed of including some from 2011 (such as Richard William Kanyike Vs Ssebuliba Mutumba former Kawempe South MP),” Karuhanga said.
The MPs demand that the Auditor General establishes how much money has been spent in handling the petitions, how many cases were filed across the country, those disposed of at High Court level, how many were appealed against and those disposed of within the stipulated period of time.
Karuhanga insisted that the case back log in this issue isn’t an issue of inadequacy of judicial officers but “it is more an issue of abuse of the administrative powers by Justice Kavuma as the head of the Court”.
Bonahasa said that if the law was followed, the Judiciary wouldn’t be still grappling with election cases.