Kampala. The Supreme Court has allowed former Presidential Candidate Robert Kyagulanyi to withdraw his presidential election petition seeking to overturn the victory of the incumbent President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
The decision by a panel of nine Supreme Court Justices led by the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo follows a concession from all parties to have the matter withdrawn.
In their brief ruling read by Lady Justice Stella Arach Amoko, the Justices noted that upon careful consideration of the application, the authorities attached to it and arguments from both parties and after reading the law, the leave to withdraw the petition has been granted.
Arach added that the question of costs which have been a key issue of contention in today’s hearing is going to be determined in their Judgement which will be on notice.
Earlier on, Kyagulanyi’s lawyers led by Medard Lubega Sseggona asked court to allow the withdraw of the petition without costs.
Court heard that in the interest of promoting rule of law, democracy, for the development of the country and to make people feel comfortable to raise grievances before court, each party should bear its own costs.
Sseggona added that Museveni was already declared the winner of the elections by the Electoral Commission which is the second respondent in this case, and to them, there is nothing else he still wants from the petitioner, this being a public interest matter.
Sseggona further told told court that his client’s decision to withdraw the case was not influenced by corruption motives, the same issue which was confirmed by the respondents during their oral response to the application for withdraw.
In response to application, the Respondents Museveni, Electoral Commission and the Attorney General didn’t object to the withdrawal. However, the trio asked court to condemn Kyagulanyi to costs basing on his behavior including uttering out falsehoods, attacking the judicial officers, discussing issues before court through the media; and threatening to take his petition through the public court which they referred to as a mockery to the independence of the Judiciary among others.
The Attorney General William Byaruhanga specifically asked court to impose some sanctions for the parties who bring matters in the court but go on discussing them in the public and the press before they are determined to their logical conclusions.
Byaruhanga said this was Illegal and should be condemned by all means.
Kyagulanyi ran to court on February 1, 2021 accusing the Electoral Commission fraudulently declaring Museveni as winner of the January 14th elections with 58 percent of the total votes cast.
On Museveni’s part, Kyagulanyi who scored 35 percent of the total votes accused him of bribery, intimidation, ballot stuffing and sponsoring violence which resulted into arrests and death of people during the election process.
On his part, the Attorney General was accused of failure to put in place the recommendations arising from the previous Presidential Election Petitions aimed at improving the electoral processes in the country.
As such, Kyagulanyi asked court to nullify Museveni’s victory and order for fresh elections.
But after losing two applications one seeking to amend his petition and another seeking for more time to adduce more evidence in the case, Kyagulanyi became frustrated and decided to withdraw the petition as altogether.
Speaking to journalists after court , Sseggona has said that they are taking their grievances to the public court unless he is given fresh instructions to the contrary.
However, Museveni’s lawyer Kiryowa Kiwanuka has said the public court involves Ugandans who overwhelmingly voted Yoweri Museveni in the elections and therefore it is a wastage of time.
By Kukunda Judith– URN
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