Court

The World is Watching: Byanyima Warns Chief Justice as Election Case Starts

 

Winnie Byanyima, who  is also the Oxfam International Executive Director,  sounded the pithy warning last evening after the court announced that 9 of its judges will be in charge of the case where Mbabazi challenges the results of the February 18th poll.

“Ugandan youths and the world are watching Chief Justice (Bart) Katureebe and Supreme Court judges, rx ” she tweeted.

The judges, together with the petitioner and respondents President Yoweri Museveni, the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General are expected on Monday to attend the pre-hearing conference on Monday, which is the first stage of the hearing of the petition.

Two previous similar petitions in which Byanyima’s husband Col Dr Kizza Besigye challenged the 2001 and 2006 presidential elections were thrown out by the Supreme Court, on grounds that there wasn’t sufficient evidence that his alleged malpractices had a significant impact on the final result announced by the electoral commission.

This raised a number of questions about the court, as one of its judges Justice George Kanyeihamba came out a few years later to confess that the judges erred while passing their judgment.

According to Mrs Byanyima, Hon Mbabazi’s petition regardless of the court’s decision will put in the open the irregularities that marred the just concluded elections.

Meanwhile, the Oxfam International head was not impressed by President Museveni’s gesture of warmly welcoming Mr Mbabazi lawyers at his home in Entebbe to serve him with the court papers.

This she said was not the best measure of the democracy as some NRM defenders seemed to suggest over social media.

She stressed that democracy would have to be measured by the independence of the judges, the ruling and respect of the court procedures.

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