Friday March 18 2016

EC yields to court pressure; avails tally sheets to Mbabazi lawyers

L-R: Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana

L-R: Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana EC lawyers Macdusman Kabega and Enos Tumusiime. Photo by Dominic Bukenya.  

By Anthony Wesaka, Isaac Imaka & Ivan Okuda

KAMPALA. The Electoral Commission (EC) has finally yielded to pressure from the Supreme Court and availed tally sheets and declaration forms to the legal team representing Amama Mbabazi in his petition seeking to nullify the victory of President Yoweri Museveni.
Mr Enos Tumusiime, the EC’s lead lawyer told the panel of nine justices of the Supreme Court led by the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe that they had availed declaration forms to Mr Amama’s legal team.
This was after court issued a second directive, ordering the electoral body to avail the DR forms and tally sheets to Amama’s team for scrutiny.

“My lords, I wish to report that following court’s directive yesterday, the second respondent (EC) has this morning availed the declaration forms for all the 28,010 polling stations of the 2016 elections. My lords, we have complied with the directive of the court,” Mr Tumusiime said.
To confirm receipt of the said declarations forms, Mr Michaela Akampurira, one of the counsel for Mbabazi team, said: “we confirm that we have been served with the said copies..”
During yesterday’s proceedings, the issue of none receipt of the declaration forms by Mr Amama’s legal team came alive following Mr Severino Twinobusingye’s complaint.
Mr Twinobusingye told court that EC lawyers had lied to court of having given them the declaration forms and yet in the actual sense, they had just allowed them to inspect.

“My lords, when you granted us permission to inspect the documents at the EC we wanted to also be availed with copies of the forms but they were never availed to us. They went ahead to write a letter to you that they had given us the forms yet we were never given.” Mr Twinobusingye complained yesterday
He added: “we would have sought the expertise of a handwriting expert because the DR forms we saw looked to have been written by one person. The same documents were even just smuggled into court. These smuggled documents should be expunged from the court,” he said.
Likewise, the Chief Justice who made the directive to EC, said as court, they had not been formally informed apart from watching the same inspection on TV.