Deadlock, dejection, derail and disillusionment shrouds the Uganda’s bruised political Opposition. The political silence defining Kampala currently is representative of most part of Uganda sampled by East Africa daily.
This group claims that the just concluded February 18, 2016 election were marred with irregularities that not only robbed them of victory, but disenfranchised a greater section of Ugandans. They are calling cancellation of results and fresh independent audit.
Uganda president Yoweri Museveni 71, still wants “his power”. In a maiden press conference after being declared winner, Museveni said whoever challenges his victory is unserious. He polled 60.78% of the votes cast.
“Anyone trying to challenge the results of the elections must not be serious…that’s rubbish,” said the self styled “Only visionary” 30 year ruler. He has just been voted for another five years up to 2021.
Delay in delivery of voting material in opposition strongholds, immense military presence in the city, and a deliberate refusal to include results from opposition strongholds on the national Tally sheet among other ills characterized the election. These are the grounds upon which the Presidential Election Petition, now at the Uganda Supreme court is tinged.
On the night of March 9, 2016 ‘goons’ broke into chambers of the lead-lawyers in the petition and allegedly made away with files and signed affidavits, something which has rendered the case a ‘deal in doubt’.
Advocates Mbabazi Mohammed and Fred Muwema say Computers and other valuable documents attached to the case were destroyed and taken away. The intention of the crime they say was a move to distort evidence to the petition and was executed Security operatives.
These lawyers are representing former Uganda Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi who wants the election results annulled and calling for a vote recount. Amama Mbabazi, who was a candidate in the previous polls garnered 1.71%.
“What hurts most in this case, is that it’s not just the information in the computers, there was also of signed [affidavits]; where people had already signed. You see, if you have a situation where you had taken signatures of 200 people [and] then it is a very big challenge to get those people to come again and sign – that is what hurts most. This other material, we can redraft.” said Lawyer Fred Muwema
Police authorities in Uganda say, Lawyers had better restrain themselves from making unsubstantiated claims.
“We want to make it very clear, that until the Police is forensically linked to the double Office break-ins and theft, it has nothing to do with the offence. The fact that the (Amama Mbabazi) Go Forward team openly chose to accuse the police of responsibility, clearly conveys the “dirty tricks” by them. The Police will not be used as a scapegoat and will not accept responsibility for the working out of the Go Forward Agenda,” Uganda Police spokes[person Fred Enanga said
According to Asuman Basalirwa, one of the many lawyers representing Amama Mbabazi, up to thirteen of their witnesses have been arrested by the Uganda Police Force, a claim the force has refuted.
Amama Mbabazi himself said two of the people his team was counting on had been arrested, one in Kamwenge District in western Uganda and another in Mukono in central Uganda.
The Supreme Court has already faulted Amama Mbabazi’s pleaders for not quickly filing at the court the names of the people whose affidavits they would use in the petition.
Uganda Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, who is leading a nine–person bench, faulted the lawyers for wasting away ten days with the affidavits
“If you had filed in court the list of people who had sworn affidavits, you would now be saying ‘Look at number so and so is detained’. Then we would have data to go by. We [now] have nothing. So you could go home claiming that ‘they are so and so…’ But we don’t have those people here. So there is no way we can know the people you say were arrested were…” Justice Katureebe said.