The court of appeal Judges have quashed a petition filed by Electoral Commission challenging a high court ruling reinstating Moses Kasibante as the lawfully elected Rubaga North Member of parliament.
Judges of the Court of Appeal have quashed a petition filed by the Electoral Commission challenging a high court ruling reinstating Moses Kasibante as the lawfully elected Rubaga North Member of Parliament. The ruling was delivered this afternoon by Alex Ajiji, the assistant court of appeal registrar on behalf of Justices Constance Byamugisha, Stephen Kavuma and Remy Kasule.
Recently, Kasibante petitioned the court of appeal to to throw out the application filed by EC seeking to block his reinstatement as the elected Rubaga North MP. He cited the failure by the applicants to prosecute the application within the specified time period. Through his lawyers of Lukwago and Company Advocates, Kasibante argued that the EC failed to file in the notice of appeal within the 7 days after delivery of the judgment as required by law.
He also accused the electoral body of failing to lodge in court a memorandum of appeal and record of appeal within 7 days and 30 days respectively. In their ruling, the three justices led by Constance Byamugisha held that the EC was not keen on pursuing the appeal with necessary vigor and diligence that the law demands of an intending appellant in an election petition appeal.
Citing the Parliamentary Elections Act, the judges agreed with Kasibante that the EC had submitted the memorandum of appeal and the notice of appeal outside the required time. They said EC filed the memorandum of appeal on November 8, a day after the required 7 days.They also said that the record of appeal that was meant to be filed within 30 days after the filing of the memorandum of appeal has never been filed to date.
They accordingly allowed Kasibante’s appeal and struck out the election petition appeal No 47 of 2011. They also ordered EC to meet all the costs incurred by Kasibante in pursuing the application. Ajiji said court will deliver its ruling on another application filed by Kasibante seeking to strike an appeal filed by his rival Singh Katongole next week. He explained that he didn’t read the ruling because it was locked up in the chambers of the lead judge Constance Byamugisha, who was reportedly unwell.
If Kasibante succeeds in having the appeal quashed, Katongole will be thrown out of the 9th parliament to allow his rival to be sworn in. Kasibante contested against Katongole in the February 18, 2011 elections and was declared winner after polling 24,054 votes against Katongole's 18,595. However, Katongole applied to Mengo Magistrate’s Court for a vote recount, and was declared elected in disregard to a high court order stopping the vote recount exercise.
Kasibante petitioned high court that ruled in his favor but Katongole petitioned against the high court ruling. In his ruling, Justice Musoke Kibuuka threw out the application after Katongole failed to pursue it within the prescribed time.