“We received the affidavit for the petitioner and having had a thorough perusal, we realized that they were in contempt of the court order. They have substantially amended, the affidavit introducing issues that were never in the original affidavit,” said Denis Atwijukire one of Ssenyonyi’s lawyers.
Muwata ha lashed out at the lawyers
representing Shukla Mukesh alias Shumuk, the former Nakawa West parliament candidate for wasting the court’s time.
Mukesh wants the
high court to overturn the victory of Joel Ssenyonyi on grounds
that the Electoral Commission did not follow the provisions of the laws
relating to elections, when
it was declaring him the winner of
the January 14th election.
On Tuesday, the parties
were supposed to agree on the issues that they want the court to determine. They were also supposed to
file their scheduling memoranda and written submissions as directed by the court
last week. However, Mukesh’s lawyers never filed any of the above. They had
also amended the affidavits, which
had already been filed in the court
contrary to the judge’s ruling.
Last week, Muwata allowed Mukesh to recommission his
affidavits because the original affidavits had been commissioned by a lawyer
whose practising certificate had expired. When the matter came up for hearing, Ssenyonyi’s lawyers wanted the court to strike out the affidavits because of failure by the applicants to obey court directives.
“We received the affidavit for the petitioner and
having had a thorough perusal, we realized that they were in contempt of the
court order. They have substantially amended, the affidavit introducing issues
that were never in the original affidavit,” said Denis Atwijukire one of
There were back and forth arguments between the lawyers
accusing each of wasting the court’s time by dwelling on non-issues. In the end,
Muwata ruled that any objections at this level should be included in the
parties’ written submissions and the court will decide on them when disposing of
In the end, four issues were agreed upon for the court to
determine. They are
whether there is a valid and competent petition before the court, whether there
were illegal practices or any electoral offences committed by Ssenyonyi or Electoral
Commission personally or through their agents, whether there was noncompliance
with electoral laws and if so, whether such non-compliance affected the results
in a substantial manner and what remedies are available to the parties.
The parties also agreed on cross-examining both
Ssenyonyi and Mukesh. When the judge asked when the cross-examination should
start, Mukesh’s lawyers said October 6th, 2021, which prompted Muwata to lose his cool. “You are a joker; you can’t say I
can wait up to the 6th, these things were given two weeks to be heard. So, by the 6th, I will be doing my other things. You have wasted a lot of time so far”
Muwata told Asimwe Agius, one of Muskesh’s lawyers before ruling that cross-examinations must take place tomorrow.
He gave each party one hour to cross-examine its witnesses. “Please prepare for tomorrow, I have given all
of you time to present your case and we shall use the law to decide the
matter,” Muwata said. The Nakawa
West election petition is one of only two cases that are yet to be determined
by the court.
The other is the challenge against Salim Uhuru’s victory as
Kampala Central Division Mayor. All the other election petitions heard from the
Kampala High Court have already been determined and disposed of by other