Kidandala had also alleged that Ssegirinya’s nomination was not accompanied by the names and signatures of a minimum of ten persons who are registered voters in the Kawempe North constituency, as required by the law.
The High Court in Kampala has dismissed an election
petition filed against Kawempe North MP Muhammad Ssegirinya on grounds that he
was not effectively served by his rival Sulaiman Kidandala.
Kidandala's lawyers of Alaka and Company Advocates
filed the petition against the legislator accusing him of lack of academic
qualifications to be in Parliament.
However, they couldn't trace Ssegirinya who was in
prison, to serve him with the copy of the petition.
As a result, they filed an application before the High
Court Judge Emmanuel Baguma for substituted service.
Justice Baguma directed them to serve Ssegirinya from
prison and that the service is witnessed by the Officer in Charge of Kitalya
The Judge also directed them to pin a copy of the
petition on its notice board.
However, Kidandala's lawyers led by Fred Kato returned
an affidavit of service saying that when he went to prison neither Ssegirinya
nor the officer in charge of the Prisons accepted to acknowledge receipt of the
As a result, the Electoral Commission's lawyer Eric
Sabiiti filed an application seeking to dismiss the entire petition on grounds
that Ssegirinya was not effectively served.
Sabiiti relied on an affidavit sworn by Felix Mugiya
the Deputy officer in charge of Kitalya Government's Prison who denied ever
In her ruling the Lady Justice Henrietta Wolayo has
dismissed the petition saying that Ssegirinya was not effectively served and
that the orders of Justice Baguma ought to be complied with
fully which was not the case.
According to Wolayo, Ssegirinya's lawyers had to go
and serve him through the OC of Kitalya and then another copy put on the Court
notice board. But instead, according to Wolayo , Kidandala's lawyers were intent at serving Ssegirinya as a person
not through the Officer in Charge of Kitalya as directed by Justice Baguma.
She added that the orders of court are not supposed to
be taken lightly by choosing which one to comply with and which one not to.
Wolayo termed Kidandala's petition redundant and
accordingly struck it out from the court record with orders that each party
bears its own costs.
The ruling has been delivered in open court by Civil
Division Assistant Registrar Agnes Alum on behalf of the Judge whom she said
was engaged in a plea bargaining meeting.
Speaking to URN, Kidandala lawyers led by Paul
Kenneth Kakande have said that they are going to appeal against the decision.
Cue in: Cue out.//
Eric Sabiiti, the Lawyer of the Electoral Commission
said people of Kawempe should now celebrate that Ssegirinya is now their rightfully
elected Member of Parliament. He hailed the judge for the ruling saying it was
the only logical conclusion that any court should have arrived at.
was the runner up in an election that attracted nine other candidates, argued that
Ssegirinya’s nomination papers were invalid because he did not have the
requisite academic qualifications to contest for a parliamentary seat.
The law requires all persons contesting for a
parliamentary seat to have A-level or its equivalent.
But according to
Kidandala’s petition, the O’level and A’level academic documents that
Ssegirinya presented to the Electoral Commission were forged, which constitutes
a crime under the Parliamentary Election Act.
He had also alleged that Ssegirinya’s nomination was
not accompanied by the names and signatures of a minimum of ten persons who are
registered voters in the Kawempe North constituency, as required by the law.
Through his lawyers Kidandala explained that Ssegirinya’s nomination papers were not
signed and countersigned in accordance with the Parliamentary Elections Act.
He also indicated that Ssegirinya was never a
registered voter of Kawempe North or anywhere in Uganda. This was because, by the time he officially
changed his name from Richard to Muhammad Ssegirinya, the Electoral Commission
had already finished updating the voter register.
The records also indicate that Ssegirinya gazetted his
deed poll to change his name on October 13, 2020, one year after the closure of
the update of the voter register.
Ssegirinya of the National Unity Platform defeated
nine other candidates when he scored 41,197 votes against his closest
challenger Kidandala who had 7,512 votes.