Friday March 18 2016

EC gave us fake results forms - Mbabazi team

Mbabazi lawyer Severino Twinobusingye makes a

Mbabazi lawyer Severino Twinobusingye makes a submission at the election petition hearing at the Supreme Court yesterday. Photo by Dominic Bukenya. 

By Ivan Okuda, Anthony Wesaka and Isaac Imaka

Twinobusingye: My lords, I am part of the counsel for the petitioner (Mr Mbabazi). My lords, when you granted us permission to inspect the documents at the EC, the rules are we would have sought the expertise of a handwriting expert. The DR forms are signed by one handwriting. The same documents were even just smuggled into the court. These smuggled documents should be expunged from the court record. Everything done in court is in black and white.
CJ: Maybe we deal with the problem. Mr Tumusiime, you remember asking you to avail the documents to the other counsel. You did not write back the report, telling us what happened. We only watched on TV about the availing of the documents. The letter forwarding the documents to the registrar was not copied to the other counsel, that is irregular. This is something I want you to explain. What is the problem in availing them with the documents they asked for?
Tumusiime: My lord, there is no problem. He is not asking us for the copies that we filed, he is even nodding in agreement. If court permits, we shall have the documents withdrawn.
CJ: Let’s turn to the documents, you wrote to the registrar, saying you had given them copies and you had not done that.
Tumusiime: Most obliged
Mbabazi: But we don’t need them now since we have already closed our case.
CJ: When you were submitting, did you make reference to the inspection and what was lacking, there we would have handled it.
Mbabazi: That would have amounted to adducing from the Bar.
CJ: We shall give the documents and if you need extra time, court can give you.
Twinobusingye: My lords, we had also asked for the Biometric Voter Verification Kits.
Tumusiime: My lord, we wrote to the [provider] and said it was not possible to give them the entire data base. The law does not give the powers to the petitioner (Mr Mbabazi) to keep the data base of the whole country.
CJ: Those are the documents that are needed in law before declaration of results and those are the documents we said should be given.
Okello Oryem: In the break, we tried to reach this agreement but it was not possible.
CJ: You are talking of expunging something from the record, you talked of filing them but we have not received. I am now saying let them be served and we shall proceed.

L-R: Electoral Commission officials Sam

L-R: Electoral Commission officials Sam Rwakoojo (secretary), Jotham Taremwa (spokesperson) and petitioner’s lawyer Mohammed Mbabazi share a light moment outside the Supreme Court in Kampala yesterday. Photo by DOMINIC BUKENYA

Twinobusingye: What they brought are scanned copies and we want the hard copies.
CJ: They can only give you what they have. We shall ask why they can’t bring them.
Tumusiime: My learned friend has not read what is on record. I wish to move to section 54 about tallying of results. This section tells us exactly who does the tallying of results. This is done by the returning officer.
My lords, a number of the petitioner’s affidavits that there were partial results, the EC have powers to open the envelopes as and when they come. Remember there is a time limit; you can’t wait for someone whose car has broken down on the way or one who has passed somewhere.
The petitioner contends that the declaration of the 1st respondent as winner was done without following the electoral rules. Indeed, the petitioner closes his eyes to the announcement by the 2nd respondent as calculated to appear as if the 1st respondent was in the lead. This was a serious flout judgment. I want to take you to paragraph 18 of his affidavit, Pontius Namugera, we had looked at. Hope court will allow this gentleman to explain by use of flip chat.
CJ: If you had alerted us before, but let him come. He can do this tomorrow.
Twinobusingye: My lords, perhaps Tumusiime is looking at what happens. Court is inquiring about what happened.
CJ: He is making his submissions, you will have time to reply, okay. But is this what happened?
Tumusiime; If the petitioner’s case is that there are any DR forms which are in their possession which don’t match with that in EC possession, not a single affidavit has been produced to challenge or discredit it.
CJ: My question is, were these tally sheets printed?
Tumusiime: Not only available but they are attached. My lords, the affidavit of Duncan Mutoogo and his co-deponent, James Okello, both confirm that each candidate was allocated with two computers. Their problem was that they did not witness what was being downloaded. My lord, Dr Kiggundu has attached in his affidavit a declaration of results and he has given his totals, which indicate 60.7 per cent for the 1st respondent and 132,574 for the petitioner, representing 1.23 per cent. My lords, if the petitioner alleges that it’s not Gen Museveni who won the election, then who won? The petitioner did not win and had no chances, I am sorry but facts speak for themselves. I will ask my friend MacDusman Kabega to take on the second issue.
CJ: We take a break of 30 minutes.
Highlights continue in Saturday Monitor)