JINJA-UGANDA/NEWSDAY: The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) vice president (eastern Region) Salamu Musumba has withdrawn the election petition filed against Kamuli Woman MP and former speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga.
Musumba had filed the petition before the High court in Jinja faulting both Kadaga and the Electoral Commission for allegedly orchestrating irregularities, which affected the outcome of the January 2021 general election.
Prior to Musumba’s application, Kadaga’s lawyer, John Mary Mugisha had filed a miscellaneous application asking the same court to dismiss the petition on grounds that the petitioner failed to adduce evidence in support of her cause before court.
Musumba’s lawyer John Isabirye argued that their client who was physically present in court had agreed to voluntarily withdraw the petition and it was not prudent for the defense counsel to pursue their application to dismiss the petition.
However, both the respondents’ and applicants’ lawyers later consented to the withdraw of the petition, prompting the presiding judge, Issa Sserunkuma to recall the petition.
Sserunkuma further asked the petitioners’ lawyers to orally submit their application to withdraw the petition and he tasked the applicants to pay costs incurred by respondents’ throughout the petition.
Musumba told journalists after the court session that her agents were tortured, a section of voters were bribed, among other irregularities and she had a strong case before court but, resolved to withdraw the petition as a means of fostering unity within Busoga sub region.
Musumba further stresses that to date, unknown individuals were endlessly threatening her key witnesses in support of the petition, which was making some of their lives uneasy. She argues that in the interest of agitating for peace, since several individuals were grouping up themselves in cliques to engage in endless fights, withdrawing the petition is a great step in ensuring that warring parties concentrate more on developmental issues aimed at improving their livelihoods rather than uncontrolled intrigue against each other.
Meanwhile, Kadaga’s lawyer Caleb Alaka says that Musumba wasted the court’s time and it is just prudent that she pays costs worthy the quality of lawyers who were hired to rebuttal the contents of the petition.
Musumba is the second petitioner to withdraw an election petition from Jinja high court circuit after Jinja North constituency loser Mohammed Bidondole finalized the process of withdrawing the petition which he had filed against the area MP David Isabirye on Monday.
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