FDC Supporters Protest Transfer of Mwiru, Nabeta Electoral Petition

2050 Views Jinja, Uganda

In short
Their contention started after a road map of election petition hearing released by Jinja high court deputy registrar Jesse Byaruhanga. It indicates that the case filed by Mwiru against Nathan Igeme Nabeta, the elected Member of Parliament for Jinja East Constituency will be heard in Kampala by Justice Lydia Mugambe.

Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party supporters in Jinja district are challenging a decision to have an electoral petition filed by Jinja East Member of Parliament Paul Mwiru heard in Kampala.

Their contention started after a road map of election petition hearing released by Jinja high court deputy registrar Jesse Byaruhanga. It indicates that the case filed by Mwiru against Nathan Igeme Nabeta, the elected Member of Parliament for Jinja East Constituency will be heard in Kampala by Justice Lydia Mugambe.

The Judiciary last month compiled and cause-listed at least 118 parliamentary election petitions to be heard in the 13 different High Court circuits across the country. The Principal Judge subsequently appointed 26 High Court Judges to hear the election petitions.

But Byaruhanga said the High Court in Jinja was overwhelmed by the number of election petitions. With 16 petitions filed from the various districts of Busoga sub region, Jinja High Court recorded the highest number of election petitions from the just concluded general election.

These include petitions filed by Kabeera Richard Sunday against Gamutambuli Sam, Kawombe Lameca against Kafeero Ssekitoleko, George Patrick Kasujja against Fredrick Ngobi Gume. The same court will handle a petition filed by Nabukeera Hussein Hanifah against Kusasira Peace Kanyesigye, Lugudde Katwe Elizabeth against the Returning Officer of Buikwe and Kalazan Charles against Paul Musoke. These were allocated to Justice Benjamin Kabiito.

Justice Godfrey Namundi will be in charge of petitions filed by Kintu Alex Brandon against the Electoral Commission, Muyanga Simon Lutaaya against Kenneth Lubogo Proscovia Salamu Musumba against Rehema Watongola, Kirya Grace Wanzala against Nelson Lufafa and Nakato Mary Annet against Babirye Veronika Kadogo.

Others are Isabirye Iddi against the Electoral Commission, Badogi Ismail Waguma against Bwino Fred Kyakulaga, Mudiobole Abedi Nasser against Mugema Peter, and Eng Ibaale Daniel Joseph against Abdu Katuntu, to be heard by Justice Margaret Mutonyi.

Three cases in the region were allocated to Justice Lydia Mugambe. They include petitions filed by Dhabasadha Asuman against Balaba David, Mwiru Paul against Igeme Nathan Samson Nabeta and Kubeketerya James against Waira Kyewalabye Majegere.

Byaruhanga says that with all these cases in the queue, the premises at Jinja High Court will not be enough to have the petitions disposed off in time.

"When we hear all the election petitions from the Jinja court the lower courts will be affected since there are no enough court premises here, this implies that other petitions shall be heard from Iganga magistrate's court room by Lady Justice Margret Mutonyi and Kampala high court by lady justice Lydia Mugambe" he noted.

However, FDC supporters are questioning the intention for the transfer saying that the decision is unwarranted since High Court in Jinja, where the petition was filed, has the jurisdiction to hear the petition.

Nasser Tigawalana, the commander of the notorious FDC Kirinya Boys group says the transfer could be a ploy to deny the petitioners justice. He added that during criminal sessions, Court sits where the crime was committed and wonders why this is not applicable to these electoral petitions.

"Jinja high Court is in Jinja East Constituency and it's where the elections were rigged from. Why do they hear cases from distant places," Tigawalana says.

The hearing of these petitions will be held between May and June, 2016.