Four-time presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye has asked the Constitutional Court to reinstate his nine-year-old petition that was recently dismissed for non-appearance in which he was challenging terrorism charges.
On October 5, the Constitutional Court dismissed Dr Besigye’s case on grounds of non-appearance.
However, Dr Besigye claims he was not aware of the last court hearing of October 5 but knew the October 26 one.
“On September 28, I received a hearing notice which also bore evidence of service of the Attorney General, showed that the petition was fixed for hearing on October 26 at 9am and noted the same in my diary. I confirm that neither myself, nor my partner David FK Mpanga, nor the petitioner were aware of the hearing date of October 5 and, therefore, could not attend,” Mr Ernest Kalibbala, Dr Besigye’s lawyer, stated in his affidavit.
“On the morning of October 6, I discovered from the media reports that the petition had been dismissed on October 5. When I perused the court file, I confirmed that indeed the petition had been dismissed after the respondent (Attorney General), ostensibly for non-appearance of counsel for the petitioner or the petitioner on that day without justifiable reason/explanation,” Mr Kalibbala adds.
The lawyer said he has consulted Dr Besigye, who wants the petition reinstated since he wants it heard to its logical conclusion.
Mr Kalibbala also states that upon writing to the court registrar about this issue, the court acknowledged that there was a mistake on its part.
“Following the dismissal, I spoke to the applicant/petitioner and informed me, which information I believe to be true and correct that he is interested in having the petition heard and determined on its merits and that an application should be made to set the dismissal aside and reinstate the petition,” Mr Kalibbala states.
Dr Besigye was challenging Section 26 of the Penal Code Act, a section he had said, contravened Articles 23, 28, 29 and 44 of the Constitution and that it should be struck out.
He had further stated that the terrorism offence in its present form, contravenes constitutional right to personal liberty, fair hearing, movement, religion and association and other human rights and freedoms in the Constitution.
Subsequently, the court is today expected to hear out Dr Besigye’s compliant that will determine whether his nine-year old petition is reinstated and heard to its logical conclusion or not.