Jude Mbabali, former Bukoto Central DP parliamentary candidate has been summoned before his party National Executive and Central Executive Committees to explain why he withdrew his petition against the of vice president Edward Ssekandi.
Jude Mbabali, former Bukoto Central DP parliamentary candidate has been summoned before his party National Executive and Central Executive Committees to explain why he withdrew his petition against the of vice president Edward Ssekandi. In March this year, Mbabali dragged Ssekandi to court challenging his election over allegations of electoral malpractices and corruption. Mbabali accused Ssekandi of bribing Tugume Mugisha, Masaka Electoral Commission returning officer.
But on July 25th 2011 Mbabaali withdrew the petition from Masaka High Court where it was being heard by Justice Elizabeth Musoke claiming that he had lost interest. Mbabali alleged that John Baptist Walusimbi, Katikiro of Buganda and John Baptist Kaggwa, the Bishop Masaka diocese had asked him to withdraw the petition because it would embarrass the vice president who is a member of the Catholic Church.
The decision by Mbabali to withdraw the petition didn’t go down well with his supporters and several members of his party. Some of the critics accused Mbabali of taking a bribe from Ssekandi to withdraw the case. As a result, Mbabali has been summoned to appear before the party National Executive Committee to explain circumstances under which he withdrew the election petition.
Mathias Nsubuga, Democratic party Secretary General says that they expect Mbabali to explain the corruption and bribery allegations against him. He says that Mbabali’s decision to withdraw the petition has demoralized DP supporters.
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Jude Mbabaali could not be reached to comment on the summons as his mobile phone number was switched off. Both Katikiro Walusimbi and bishop Kaggwa who brokered the deal between Ssekandi and Mbabali have publicly refused to comment on the withdrawal of the petition. Recently, Walusimbi told URN that he intervened in the election petition in his capacity as an elder and not Katikiro.
Meanwhile, a group of NRM supporters led by Sylvester Njawuzi, Ssekandi’s former campaign manager are threatening to take legal action against Mbabaali for criminal libel and defamation. Njawuzi alleges that Mbabaali defamed when he accused him of voter bribery, intimidation and electoral violence during the February elections. Njawuzi says they want Mbabaali to compensate them.
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