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MP Kahonda Asks Constitutional Court to Block Petition

Kahonda wants the Constitutional Court to interpret for him what amounts to dishonesty and also issue a permanent injunction restraining the electoral body, its agents from determining any complaints against him based on his conviction.
Kahonda's lawyers leading him to Court
Ruhinda South Member of Parliament Retired Captain Dononzio Mugabe Kahonda has petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking to block the Electoral Commission from determining any complaint seeking to nullify his nomination as the NRM flag bearer for Ruhinda South Constituency Court.

In September, a voter from Ruhinda South Godfrey Kahonaho petitioned the EC to disqualify Kahonda from the parliamentary race on grounds that he was convicted of Impersonation and sentenced to nine months in 2017 by Jinja Chief Magistrate and therefore he is not fit to be a Member of Parliament.

Under Article 80 of the Constitution and Section 4 of the Parliamentary Elections Act, a person is not qualified for elections as a Member of Parliament if that person has within the seven years towards the election been convicted by a competent court on a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude.

But Kahonda who was convicted three years ago, in the petition through his lawyers Caleb Alaka and Evans Ochieng says the Chief Magistrate John Francis Kaggwa who convicted him did not clarify that the crimes of impersonation with which he was convicted involved dishonest or moral turpitude.

He says the acts of EC sitting and determining the complaint involving the interpretation of articles 80(2)(f) of the constitution by section 15 of the Electoral Commission Act to determine whether the offences on which he was convicted involved dishonest and moral turpitude is inconsistent with several articles in the constitution.

He further argues that currently in Uganda there is no law which defines and gives a classification of offences along the lines of dishonest and moral turpitude and in absence of such a law the Electoral Commission can't disqualify a candidate basing on the said article of the constitution and sections under the Parliamentary Election Act and the Electoral Commissions Act.

Kahonda wants the Constitutional Court to interpret for him what amounts to dishonesty and also issue a permanent injunction restraining the electoral body, its agents from determining any complaints against him based on his conviction.

In 2015 Kahonda was charged with 14 counts related to Impersonation and forgery of several academic documents in the name of Dickson Mutabazi some of which he had reportedly used to join Jinja military Academy on November 11 2001.

He was also found guilty of forging a medical examination form, UPDF declaration form, a record of his fingerprints, attestation papers and opening an account number before Post Bank with intentions of defrauding the public. 

The trial Chief Magistrate convicted him on 11 counts and acquitted on three counts.

The Constitutional Court Registrar Mary Babirye has already summoned Electoral Commission and the Attorney General who are listed as respondents, in this case, to file their defence within ten days after receiving a copy of Kahonda’s petition.

Kahonda gained popularity when he defeated the current minister of East African Community Affairs retired Maj General Kahinda Otafiire for the Ruhinda County MP seat in 2016.

Kahonda had previously filed a relatively similar case in the Kampala High Court but he withdrew it. 

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