Ssematimba in court to regain his MP seat

Peter Ssematimba makes a contribution in parliament during plenary on June 14, 2016. Photo by Dominic Bukenya

The newly elected Busiro South constituency legislator who was last week kicked out of Parliament by the High Court over academic papers has run to court of Appeal to challenge the decision.

Justice Lydia Mugambe of the High Court last Friday nullified the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM)’s Ssematimba’s victory on grounds that he did not have the requisite academic papers to stand as MP.
In his notice of appeal that he lodged before the Nakasero-based court on Tuesday, Mr Ssematimba claims that he is dissatisfied with Justice Mugambe’s verdict.
His victory had been challenged by Democratic Party’s Stephen Ssekigozi, one of the losers of the February 18 parliamentary polls.

Mr Ssematimba filed the appeal notice through his lawyers of Muganwa Nanteza and Co Advocates on Tuesday.
The implication of this notice of appeal is that Mr Ssematimba can continue representing the people of Busiro South constituency until that time when the Court of Appeal makes its verdict on whether High Justice Mugambe was right or wrong in throwing him out of Parliament.
The Court of Appeal which is now the last court to deal with election related disputes for the MPs and local government councillors; now has up to six months to hear and make a decision in this matter according to the amended election rules.

Justice Mugambe while nullifying Mr Ssematimba’s victory last week, faulted the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) for failing to take due diligence in verifying Mr Ssematimba's diploma award from the Pacific Coast Institute in the USA before issuing him a certificate of equivalence of Advanced Level that he used to participate in the elections where he was returned winner.
Also in her verdict, Justice Mugambe solely condemned NICHE to pay costs to Mr Ssekigozi that he had used in pursuing this case for its failure not to exercise its due diligence while verifying Mr Ssematimba’s papers.