[And that is where this circus ends ladies and gentlemen. Well, for tonight. I do have 2 more articles but I sure hope to heaven they do not have JPAM in them because too much is too much.]
Amama Mbabazi lost atleast 27 grounds of his election petition, which was Thursday dismissed by Supreme Court.
Mbabazi’s original petition was based on 28 grounds zeroing on candidate Museveni, Electoral Commission and the Attorney General as the first, second and third respondents’ actions that tantamounted to election fraud.
He then amended the petition to add 15 new grounds including proof of voter bribery, use of public servants in political activities, interference with opposition activities and misuse of government resources.
In yesterday’s ruling read out by Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, Mbabazi lost about 27 of the 33 grounds.
1 Mbabazi alleged that there was non-compliance with Presidential Election Act & Elections Act saying EC nominated President Museveni “illegally” but court ruled that the petitioner’s claims do not fit because “Museveni was nominated legally”.
2 The extension of the presidential nomination time infringed no law, as claimed by Mbabazi.
3 On allegation that the Electoral Commission illegally compiled National Voters Register (NVR), court ruled that there was a National Voters Register (NVR) which was used by Electoral Commission (EC) to conduct the 2016 election, the petitioner received a copy hence the allegation that EC used data from Internal Affairs was incorrect.
4 On allegation that EC didn’t issue voters’ cards, court ruled that EC complied with the law when it used national IDs instead of voter’s cards for identification.
5 On use of Biometric Voter Verification Kit (BVVK) which petitioner alleged slowed down process, court ruled that there was evidence that some BVVKs weren’t efficient while others didn’t work but National Voters Register (NVR) was the principle identification document hence BVVKs didn’t constitute non-compliance or disenfranchise voters.
6 On allegations of pre-ticked ballots in favour of Museveni and 100% voter turnout in areas like Kiruhura, court said this was not supported by evidence
7 On allegation of voting before and after stipulated time: the petitioner adduced no evidence to support allegation.
8 The allegation on voting starting without first opening ballot boxes was not substantially proven.
9 Court found no evidence of multiple voting as alleged by the petitioner, save for hearsay.
10 On issue of ineligible voters, Katureebe said presented evidence doesn’t prove that anybody ineligible was allowed to vote.
11 Court found no evidence of unauthorised voting. It said the evidence presented was frivolous.
12 Mbabazi claimed that his polling agents never voted but CJ said these agents even signed declaration forms on the polling stations.
13 Court also found no evidence that Mbabazi’s polling agents were chased away from stations. “We have found it difficult to believe that absence of petitioner’s agents was caused by the first respondent.”
14 On allegation of counting and tallying of results in the absence of petitioner’s agents.
At most polling stations, counting was smooth. There is evidence petitioner didn’t have agents at many polling stations.
15 Supreme Court rules that Electoral Commission (EC) declaring results without physical Declaration of Result (DR) forms wasn’t non-compliance with Presidential Elections Act (PEA)
16 Supreme Court rules that Electoral Commission (EC) could use electronic transmission. Chief Justice (CJ) Bart Katureebe: “This is not non-compliance. However, info ought to be verified”
17 On alleged “illegal declaration” of Museveni as winner in wake of absent Declaration of Results (DR) forms, court said it was satisfied that results EC declared were based on tally sheets & Declaration of Results (DR) forms hence no non-compliance.
18 Mbabazi too failed to to produce DR forms to compare with those of EC hence court could not determine the discrepancies.
19 Court found no evidence that EC got results from security forces or an illegal tally centre. EC had tally centre at Namboole stadium.
20 There was no evidence that Mbabazi sought coverage from state-owned media like UBC TV and New Vision and was denied. Instead Robert Kabushenga provided evidence that NV covered Mbabazi’s rallies.
21 The presence of the police and the army at polling stations wasn’t aimed at intimidation but for national security concerns. There was no interference with petitioner’s rights.
22 The involvement of crime preventers too, according to court, did not create violence since they are a police reserve force in community policing.
23 The evidence provided by Mbabazi’s Ki-face group witnesses was not credible. It was doubted because the group was questionable.
24 The alleged bribing of voters by giving Shs250,000 to villages lacked enough evidence to prove it.
25 The distribution of hoes to farmers across the country was not an act of bribery but a national programme. Court also ruled that KCCA’s Executive Director Jennifer Musisi, UNRA’s Allen Kagina never campaigned for 1st respondent but explained public programmes.
26 Mbabazi also failed to prove that the leopard anus remark said by the president was in reference to himself as a presidential candidate.
27 The allegation that Museveni threatened citizens with war if he was not voted back into power was hollow, baseless and lacked evidence to back it up.
Mbabazi wins on 6 grounds
28 Court faulted EC for delays in delivering voting materials saying it was wrong, showed incompetence and gross inefficiency.
29 Court also found evidence that Mbabazi’s agents were denied information which they were entitled to.
30 Katureebe said it was “inexcusable” that EC didn’t provide reasons on why results from 1,777 polling stations were left out by declaration day.
31 Court faulted security forces for arresting Mbabazi, saying he should have been allowed to go to Mbale during consultations.
32 Court said EC should have done more to brief candidates on mode of result transmission of election results.
33 African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) report showed that UBC TV failed to provide equal coverage to all candidates.
Chief Justice Bart Katureebe concluded that there was non-compliance but court was not satisfied it affected the results in a substantial manner.