Mbabazi Lawyers Stumble as Election Petition Gains Steam

A truck driver from Burundi has become the first victim of the contagious rift valley fever that broke out in Kabale district last week.

Issa Ndimurukundo died on Tuesday evening at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital where he was admitted after being picked from Katuna border post with symptoms like vomiting and bloody stool.

Ndimurukundo was the fifth case reported since the outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever, approved the first of its kind in Uganda.

Three others are still admitted at the Kabale Hospital while the other was taken to Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital.

Dr Patrick Tusiime, erectile the Kabale district director of health services confirmed the death of Ndirumukundo, adding that efforts are being made to save the others still infected.

The death of the truck driver has put residents of Kabale in fear.
Lawyers representing former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi on Tuesday pinned the Independent Electoral Commission on what they termed as ‘doctored’ results of the 2016 presidential elections that were announced.

The lawyers led by Muhammad Mbabazi told court that there was no tallying of results at the National Tally Centre at Namboole as the name suggests but rather viewing of what had already been fed to computers.

Citing evidence from Mbabazi’s agents at Namboole during the declaration day, drug Mbabazi said that as the meaning suggests that tallying requires adding, symptoms calculation and the total sum of results, this was foregone by the Electoral Commission.

“It is very clear at Namboole there were no declaration of results of forms and tally sheets as required in Section 56 of the Presidential Election Act which requires for those sources of results,” Muhammad Mbabazi told the panel of 9 judges on Monday.

“The Declaration of Results (DR) forms are a creation of the Constitution because the actual results are in these forms. It is therefore true that there were no results upon which the Electoral Commission based on declaring the first respondent (Museveni) the winner.”

The lawyers insisted that the elections were not free and fair because the Electoral Commission ‘enacted its own law and used their own results to declare a winner’ yet the law requires use of declaration of results forms.

On the electronic transmission of results as cited by EC boss Eng. Dr. Badru Kiggundu, Mbabazi’s lawyers said there was no law cited by the elections body in doing this.

“At the announcement of results only 48% of the votes had been considered yet most of those left out were from the petitioner’s strongholds.  We want an annulment of the elections and a fresh tally at district and later national level,” lead Counsel Muhammad Mbabazi argued.

Mbabazi Lawyers Falter

The lawyers argued that the Electoral Commission abdicated its constitutional roles of compiling, maintaining, reuse and update of the voters’ register when it used data from the national IDs.

“The duty to obtain data for purposes of establishing a voter’s register is an exclusive preserve of the Electoral Commission and cannot be delegated to any other authority,” Counsel Asuman Basalirwa argued.

The lawyer said that retiring the previous register disfranchised many eligible voters, some polling stations where people had national IDs but were not in the new register.

However, President Museveni’s lawyers led by Kiryowa Kiwanuka asked court to intervene as their opponents were making submissions without any written and submitted evidence in form of affidavits to court.

The Chief Justice Bart Katureebe intervened and warned Mbabazi lawyers against making allegations that are not supported by any evidence on court records.

Basaalirwa told court that it was wrong for the Electoral Commission to get data from other agencies to be able to make voters’ cards but the Chief Justice intervened saying there was no evidence on record to satisfy this allegation.

Mbabazi lawyers went on to argue that it was illegal for the Electoral Commission to nominate President Museveni before he had not been endorsed by the NRM national delegates conference as required by the Presidential Elections Act.

According to Severino Twinobusingye, that there was violation of section 9 and 10 of the Act which requires that the party top organs at the national delegates conference   endorses a presidential aspirant before being nominated by the Electoral Commission.

Twinobusingye further said that President Museveni went ahead to organize for himself a delegates conference where he was endorsed.

However, lawyer Kiwanuka Kiryowa was again on the case of his counterpart, asking him to cite any form of evidence in form of a sworn affidavit in support of said allegations.

On allegations made by Mbabazi lawyers that President Museveni had bribed voters through giving out shs250,000 to people in Busoga plus organizing a function where he gave out drinks and food, the judges said the law does not stop people from attending meetings in which drinks or food can be consumed.

Mbabazi lawyers told court that Museveni made abusive and derogatory remarks in reference to presidential candidates Amama Mbabazi and  Dr,Kizza Besigye whom he called wolves and that their supporters were mad.

However, the judges intervened and asked to know whether there was evidence that the remarks were directed towards the petitioner or any other presidential candidate.

Mbabazi lawyers however told court that the results of the February 18, elections should be annulled because they were marred by irregularities and a vote recount forced.

The panel of 9 judges adjourned the case to tomorrow.


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