The High Court in Kampala will Tuesday, September 7 deliver its ruling in an application in which the Electoral Commission (EC) wants the election petition against Kawempe North MP Muhammad Ssegirinya dismissed.
High Court Judge Henrietta Wolayo fixed the date after lawyers of petitioner Sulaiman Kidandala, headed by Caleb Alaka and EC’s head of litigation Eric Sabiiti, submitted their arguments on Friday.
“I have listened to your respective submissions and this court will deliver its ruling on September 7 at 10:00am,” Justice Wolayo ruled.
The EC wants the petition dismissed on grounds that Ssegirinya was not served with the petition as required by law. Kidandala claims that Ssegirinya does not possess academic qualifications required for one to become an MP.
EC argued that there is no proof that he was served when he was on remand at Kitalya Prison.
The EC lawyers cited the affidavit of sworn by Felix Mugirya, the deputy officer in charge of Kitalya Prison, who states that Ssegirinya was never served with the petition.
“The petitioner wants to take victory of a man he never served, and this offends the right to fair hearing,” Sabiiti submitted.
In rebuttal, Alaka, Samuel Muyizzi and Kenneth Paul Kakande, who represent Kidandala, submitted that their process server Fred Kato duly served Ssegirinya with the notice of presentation of the petition, but he refused to acknowledge it without the presence of his lawyer.
Asked by the judge why they did not obtain an affidavit from Mugirya confirming that the petition was presented to Ssegirinya but he refused to receive it, Muyizzi said: “My lord, service in parliamentary election petitions is personal.”
Alaka appealed to court to take a copy of the petition which was pinned on the civil court notice board as sufficient proof of service in alternative.
Sabiiti said there is no proof that the officer in charge at Kitalya witnessed the said service.
Kidandala accuses Ssegirinya of presenting forged papers to the EC, which in turn cleared him to contest for the seat.
Additional reporting by New Vision