PHOTOS: Celebration as Court Nullifies Ssematimba’s Election

Democratic Party’s Steven Sekigozi hoisted by supporters after the court ruling

High Court Judge Justice Lydia Mugambe has ordered the Electoral Commission to organize fresh parliamentary elections for Busiro South constituency after nullifying the election of Pastor Peter Ssematimba.

The High Court was petitioned by Democratic Party’s Steven Sekigozi who was runner up in the February elections; challenging Ssematimba’s academic papers.

Ssekigozi claimed that the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) failed to follow the right procedures when it issued a Certificate of Equivalency to Ssematimba before he picked nomination forms. The certificate was later during the trial found with errors.

Steven Ssekigozi challenged Ssematimba's Academic papers

Steven Ssekigozi challenged Ssematimba’s Academic papers

In her ruling, ailment the judge pointed out that the fact that Ssematimba’s Certificate of Equivalency was issued with errors couldn’t be overlooked.

Judge Mugambe pointed out that the law clearly states that Certificates of Equivalency issued by NCHE must be signed by the Council Secretary, link yet Sematimba’s certificate was only signed by Executive Director Prof. John Okuda.

The ED was later to admit this mistake during the course of the trial, buy information pills confessing that he came to realize the error when he was served.

Democratic Party's Matia Nsubuga addresses press outside court after the judgement

Democratic Party’s Matia Nsubuga addresses press outside court after the judgement

The judge also questioned why NCHE didn’t recall this certificate when it learnt of the errors.

She also blamed the council of proceeding to issue the certificate without  verifying the validity of Ssematimba’s Diploma in Engineering and Electronics which he claimed to have obtained from the Pacific Coast Institute in USA. An email from the institute she noted, which was submitted to court was questionable since it had contradicting dates.

Peter Sematimba

Peter Sematimba

The judge added that evidence from one Mrs. Muyingo who swore an affidavit as Sematimba’s O.G was not enough since it didn’t corroborate with anybody else’s evidence and thus she could have been bribed.

Although the petitioner Sekigozi failed to satisfy court on other grounds like multiple voting and ballot staffing, the court still ruled in his favor.

Judge Mugambe also ordered NCHE to meet the costs.

Mr. Sekigozi being hoisted by supporters after the judgment thanked the High Court for “restoring people’s trust in the judiciary” and promised to work harder to ensure that he retains Busiro South.

“Bisiro is and has always been a Democratic Party Constituency,” he said. “From here I am hitting the ground again. We must ensure that we take back our seat,” he told press out side court.


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