High Court Reinstates Petition Against Mbabaali

2202 Views Lwengo, Uganda

In short
In her application, Nakabira contended that Mbabali used the mature entry Age certificate from Makerere University for his nomination, which isnt provided for in the law. The Parliamentary Election Act stipulates that for one to contest for a parliamentary seat, he must be a holder of an Advanced Level Education certificate or its equivalent.

Baker Rwatooro, the Assistant Masaka High Court registrar has reinstated the petition challenging the election of Muhammad Muyanja Mbabaali as the Bukoto South Member of Parliament. It follows an application by Mbabaali's rival, Gertrude Nakabira through her lawyer, Asuman Basalirwa to reinstate the petition after it was dismissed by Justice, John Eudes Keitirima last month, saying it had been overtaken by events.

 
In December last year, Nakabira petitioned court challenging the nomination of Mbabaali on grounds that he lacks the Advanced level certificate of education or its equivalent. In her application, Nakabira contended that Mbabaali used the mature entry Age certificate from Makerere University for his nomination, which isn't provided for in the law. The Parliamentary Election Act stipulates that for one to contest for a parliamentary seat, he must be a holder of an Advanced Level Education certificate or its equivalent. 


However, court didn't resolve the matter until the polls were held. In April, Mbabaali through his lawyer, Caleb Alaka asked court to dismiss the application with costs, since he had been nominated and elected. Alaka argued that the petition was legally meant to be disposed of before the election. In May, Justice John Eudes Keitirima dismissed the application, saying he was convinced the matter had been overtaken by events, since the application had sought to stop Mbabaali's nomination.


She advised Nakabira to file a fresh application if she is not satisfied with the ruling. As a result, Nakabira filed a fresh application through her lawyer Asuman Basalirwa. In her application, Nakabira argued that it wasn't her fault that court couldn't hear and dispose of the application in time. According to Nakabira, she filed the application in time adding that it was meant to be disposed of before the February 18th polls.


She also argues that forgery and lack of academic qualifications are such serious matters, which can't be swept under the carpet. This morning, Baker Rwatooro, the Assistant Masaka High Court registrar reinstated the hearing of the application, saying the judge dismissed the application on flimsy grounds.  He concurred with Nakabira that the matter was brought before court in time, saying it wasn't the applicant's fault that it wasn't handled in time, adding that it was a mistake of court not to attend to it.



He therefore directed Mbabaali to file a defense to the application in the next 14 days before hearing starts mid next month. Mbabaali was not in court but his lawyer Caleb Alaka was present. He said he will consult his client before they respond to court.
 

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.