Mbabazi has Himself to Blame – EC Lawyers

Total E&P, price order one of the companies licensed for oil production in Uganda has maintained its stance of constructing a crude oil pipeline through Tanga in Tanzania.

This is in spite of ongoing discussions between President Yoweri Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta to have the pipeline pass through Kenya.

Adewale Fayemi, for sale seek Total’s General Manager revealed at the two-day East Africa Oil and Gas conference in Tanzania that the company preferred the Tanzanian option.

“As a company, check our position remains that we are going through Tanga. I understand there are issues being discussed but our position remains the same,” Fayemi said.

President Museveni late last month held talks in Nairobi with Uhuru Kenyatta on the feasibility of the Kenyan route.

The leaders are weighing the  possibilities of the pipeline running  from Hoima though the Kenyan northern route, though the oil fields of Lokichar; the Kenyan Southern Route though Nakuru with a loop to Lokichar.

The talks were however not conclusive. The leaders agreed to allow their technical teams time to make more considerations and concessions, and come up with the final plan.

The teams from both sides are currently touring the said routes, assessing the terrain and other factors that might impact the construction costs.

However, Total’s Fayemi revealed yesterday that they had studied all available options and that the firm was more interested in the Tanga route, which will be cheaper for oil production.

Total is the main financier of the operations. China National Offshore Oil Companies is also a partner.

Lawyers representing the Electoral Commission in the Supreme Court polls petition insisted on Thursday that there was nothing wrong and outside the legal parameters that their client did during the February 18 elections, order insisting  that the petition Amama Mbabazi has himself to blame.

Okello Oryem, approved one of the lawyers told court that in accordance with Section 32 of the Presidential Elections Act, side effects the election was free and fair, first because there was no multiple voting.

He said Mbabazi on the contrary was on the wrong side of the law since, as required by Act, he failed to deploy agents at some polling stations and tally centers so as to guard his votes.

While being cross examined by Mbabazi’s lawyers led by Muhammad Mbabazi on Tuesday, Electoral Commission boss Eng. Dr. Badru Kiggundu told court that on more than 50% of the polling stations around the country, the petitioner did not deploy any agents.

“Agents are free to cross-check and compare the tallied results but unfortunately the petitioner did not have the agents. The only way agents can protect the interests of the candidate at district tally centers and national tally centers is if they are in possession of results at polling stations.  He did not comply with the law by not deploying agents to protect his interest and he hurt himself,” Okello Oryem argued.

“He had 2 agents at the national tally centre but these never said they had declaration of results forms which means they could not protect his interests .They were incompetent.”

On Mbabazi claiming that the Electoral Commission was concealing something by not showing where the results read at the national tally centre were coming from, the lawyers said there was nothing to hide as everything was done in public.

“Agents are ears and eyes of the presidential candidate and if they are absent, you can’t blame anyone. The concealment has not been proved and I pray it is disregarded,” Okello added.

On absence of tally sheets and DR forms that the election body based on before announcing the winner of the February 18 polls, the lawyers said it was a dangerous statement made by the petitioner because it took 5 years for the Electoral Commission to organize the elections.

Counsel Enos Tumusiime argued that Mbabazi can’t claim so when he had not deployed at over 50% of the polling stations throughout the country and this was proved by his failure to provide results different from the ones of the elections body.

On the illegality of the voters’ register, the lawyers told court that the Electoral Commission gave both hard and soft copies of the new register to all presidential candidates the petitioner inclusive but no one complained of any flaws.

“The purpose was for them to go and study the voters’ register and if any anything irregular is found, they ought to complain in the given time but no one did it,” Mac Dusman Kabega argued adding that using it never contravened any provision of the law.

Hearing of the petition resumes tomorrow (Friday).



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