Legal minds flex in court as Mbabazi seeks to quash Museveni victory

After an eventful Day One of the much-awaited 2016 Presidential Elections Petition filed by former prime minister Amama Mbabazi, Daily Monitor’s Anthony Wesaka, Isaac Imaka & Ivan Okuda bring you yesterday’s court proceedings.

Tuesday March 8 2016

Attorney General Freddie Ruhindi (in striped necktie) i

Attorney General Freddie Ruhindi (in striped necktie) in a conference with defence lawyers outside the Supreme Court in Kampala yesterday. 

By Anthony Wesaka, Isaac Imaka & Ivan Okuda

Time check: 10:20am, the nine justices of the Supreme Court walk into the fully-parked courtroom.

Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana: My lords, I am Mwesigwa Rukutana, the Deputy Attorney General, and I am appearing on behalf of the 3rd respondent (AG Fred Ruhindi) who is in court.

I am being assisted by the Solicitor General, Mr Francis Atooke; Phillip Mwaka, Martin Mwambutsya, George Kalemera, Elisha Fafirawala, Richard Batanda, and Jackie Amusugut.

For the petitioner, we have Mohammed Mbabazi as lead counsel, assisted by Micheal Akampurira, Asuman Basalirwa, Severino Twinobusingye, and Jude Byabakama.

For the first respondent (Yoweri Museveni), we have Didas Nkurunziza, Bernabus Tumusigisa, Herbert Byenkya, Joseph Matsiko, Kiryowa Kiwanuka and a team of other 30 lawyers (they stand up for the justices to see them).

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe: I think let’s go with the counsel you have mentioned.

Mwesigwa Rukutana: My lords, for the second respondents (EC), we have Enos Tumusiime, MacDusman Kabega, Enock Barata, Tom Magezi, Elson Karuhanga, Ivan Kyateeka, Okello Oryem and Eric Sabiiti.

My lords, I don’t see the petitioner (Amama Mbabazi) in court and for the first respondent (Yoweri Museveni), he is being represented by Edwin Karugire (Museveni’s son in law).

My lords, we are here for pre-conferencing, however, about three minutes ago, we were served with an amended petition which substantially alters the petition before you. We have not had time to peruse through it.

Chief Justice: Even court has not seen it, who filed it and when?

Counsel Mohammed Mbabazi: We filed it this morning.

Chief Justice: Under what rule?

Counsel Mohammed Mbabazi: The civil procedure rule allows us.

Chief Justice: The filing in of the pleadings stopped yesterday. Why can’t we look at the presidential rules, we don’t have time.

Counsel Mohammed Mbabazi: We apply for leave under rule 6 of the civil procedure rules and with permission of the court, we can make oral submissions.
Counsel Enos Tumusiime: They (Mbabazi’s lawyers) might have served the AG but the second respondent (EC) has not been served.
Counsel Didas Nkurunziza: For the first respondent (Yoweri Museveni), this is the first time we are hearing about the amended petition.

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