22 January 2019

Uganda: Voter Petitions Court Over MP Lubwama Election Case

Kampala — The Lawyers representing the voter who is challenging the academic qualifications of Rubaga South MP, Paul Kato Lubwama, have written to the Constitutional Court, seeking explanation why the court has delayed its ruling that would pave way for the hearing of the main election petition against the legislator in the High Court.

The petitioner, Mr Habib Buwembo, warns that the current term of the 10th Parliament is soon expiring and yet the Constitutional Court is not disposing of the electoral case against MP Lubwama to pave way for the High Court to determine the substantive petition.

"We represent Mr Buwembo Habib, the respondent in the above captioned cases with great respect, we hereby register our client's complaint about the court's failure to promptly dispose of the above captioned electoral matters," reads in part the complaint to court by Buwembo's lawyers

Adding: "Given that the Electoral Commission launched the roadmap for 2021 general elections in December last year, the delayed disposal of these matters is not justifiable. We therefore, request for prioritisation of this electoral business on the court's cause-list."

The lawyers contend that on February 7, 2017, a single judge of the Constitutional Court, Cheborion Barishaki, issued an interim order in civil application No.3 of 2017 and indefinitely stayed the hearing of Mr Buwembo's election petition against MP Lubwama that had been lodged before the High Court.

They say they immediately applied for a reference to the three-judge panel to quickly dispose of the application so that the substantive petition is heard but the Constitutional Court has never heard the matter.

The election petition against MP Lubwama arose in January 2017 when Mr Buwembo, one of his constituents, challenged his academic qualifications before the High Court in Kampala.

In his petition, Mr Buwembo contends that Mr Lubwama lacks the Primary Leaving Examinations certificate, Uganda Certificate of Education and the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education or its equivalent to qualify for MP.

Makerere University was also sued for having erroneously admitted Mr Lubwama on a Mature-Age-Entry Scheme in 1992 when at the time, he did not qualify for the same entry scheme.

Mr Buwembo wants court to declare that the election of Mr Lubwama to Parliament in the 2016 was irregular.

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