The first runner-up in the recently concluded presidential election Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu has petitioned the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the victory of the president elect Yoweri Museveni.
The National Unity Platform -NUP president has filed his petition this afternoon against National Resistance Movement -NRM party candidate Museveni, the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General. He has filed through his lawyers from five law firms led by Lukwago and Company Advocates.
The other firms are: Pace and company Advocates, Sewakambo and Company Advocates, Wameli and Company Advocates and Kiwanuka, Kanyango and Company Advocates.
Kyagulanyi is challenging the results arising from the January 14th polls which were announced officially on January 16th 2021 by the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama.
Byabakama declared Museveni the winner of the elections which attracted eleven contestants with 5,851,037 votes representing 58.64 percent against Kyagulanyi’s 3,475,298 votes representing 34.85 percent.
Again on January 28th 2021, Justice Byabakama released the final tally of the results showing that Museveni garnered an extra 191, 861 votes pushing his final tally to 6,042,898 votes representing 58.38% while Kyagulanyi got an extra 156, 139 votes pushing his final tally to 3,631,437 votes representing 35.0%.
But Kyagulanyi disputes the results, hence petitioning the Supreme Court today seeking a declaration that Museveni was not validly elected as the President of Uganda and that his election be annulled and set aside.
Kyagulanyi argues in his petition that the election was invalid on grounds that that it was not conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the laws governing elections such as the constitution, the Presidential Elections Act and the Electoral Commission Act.
As such, he argues that the non-compliance with the said laws affected the final outcome.
For instance, he says in his affidavit of 79 paragraphs that on several occasions and in several parts of the country the army and police prevented him from carrying out nation-wide consultations in preparation for his nomination as a Presidential candidate.
Due to their actions, Kyagulanyi alleges that he was frustrated in the entire election process because his agents were arrested, some murdered while others were abducted. He contends that he was personally pepper sprayed, intimidated and also that security destroyed his campaign posters before causing violence.
Evidence before court also shows Kyagulanyi accusing the Electoral Commission for having arbitrarily and unlawfully issued campaign guidelines which hindered a free and fair campaign to his disadvantage and only enforced the said guidelines selectively to favor Museveni.
Kyagulanyi also accuses Museveni whom he describes as the master of violence of committing acts of bribery by providing or causing the provision of money and other gifts to voters with the intent to cause them to vote him (Museveni) or refrain from voting him (Kyagulanyi).
On the side of the Attorney General, Kyagulanyi faults him for having allegedly refused to amend the relevant laws which would ensure a free and fair elections as directed by the Supreme Court in their orders arising from the previous presidential election petitions.
The Supreme Court in 2016 following the Presidential Election Petition of Amama Mbabazi against Museveni, issued ten key ‘commands’ to be considered so as to have a free and fair elections in future. These included amending the time for filing and determining the petitions, amending the laws regarding the nature of evidence to be used, the time for holding fresh elections, donations during election period and involvement of public officers in political campaigns among others.
The Attorney General has since complied with a few of them and failed on the majority.
Now, Kyagulanyi wants the Supreme Court to order for fresh elections and issue a permanent order restraining UPDF and intelligence services as well was Resident District Commissioners from involving themselves and interfering with the electoral processes in future.
He also wants the Attorney General to be directed again to cause Amendments to the relevant electoral laws to comply with the observations and directions of the Supreme Court in the previous Presidential Election Petitions to enable internationally recognized principles of a free and fair elections.
Museveni, Attorney General and the Electoral Commission who are listed as respondents are yet to be summoned to file their responses to the petition which has to be determined within 60 days. The panel is also yet to be constituted to hear the case.
Kyagulanyi’s lawyers led by Medard Sseggona have said they are still collecting evidence to use against Museveni.