Bobi petition: Public to park at Kololo airstrip

Supreme Court judges hear the application in which former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi sought to amend his election petition on Tuesday. PHOTO | ABUBAKER LUBOWA

The public will from today park at Kololo Independence Grounds as the Supreme Court starts the hearing of the presidential poll petition filed by Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, who is challenging President Museveni’s victory.

A panel of nine justices led by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo will conduct a pre-hearing session at the court today.  

Ms Harriet Ssali Nalukwago, the court registrar, yesterday said the parking space has been secured at the nearby Kololo grounds since there will not be space within the court premises after two huge tents were erected there for the hearing.

The move is also to ensure social distancing and prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Ms Nalukwago said each tent will accommodate up to 100 people.

“One tent will be for judges and lawyers and the other for the public. About the parking space for the public, we have an understanding with the management of the airstrip that has availed us with space during the hearing,”  she said. When asked about the safety of the cars, the registrar said police have been deployed to guard them.

Ms Nalukwago also said the accredited journalists will be accommodated in one of the tents

On being prepared to hold the hearing, the registrar said the court is ready to hear the evidence.

Mr Kyagulanyi, the National Unity Platform president, has since listed 26 issues that he wants to be determined, which can be reduced to less than  10.

The court in consultation with the parties, is also expected to give the timelines of how it will be conducting the main hearing like how much time Mr Kyagulanyi’s lawyers will need to present their petition and how much time the respondents (Mr Museveni’s lawyers, Electoral Commission and Attorney General) need to respond.

Mr Solomon Muyita, the Judiciary’s  principal communications officer, yesterday said only those who have been accredited will access the court premises.

The pre-hearing also comes a day after the court dismissed an application in which Mr Kyagulanyi was seeking to produce new evidence.

The court unanimously held that the additional evidence had been brought outside the period provided for filing a presidential election petition of 15 days from the date of announcing results.

Bobi’s grounds

Mr Kyagulanyi seeks to annul Mr Museveni’s victory on grounds that his election was carried outside the electoral laws and that its outcome was substantially affected. The President-elect, in his response, has since asked the court to dismiss with costs Mr Kyagulanyi’s petition on grounds that it was filed late (outside the recommended 15 days from the date of announcing election results). Mr Museveni also argues that his re-election for the sixth elective term was conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Presidential Elections Act and the Electoral Commission Act, hence he was validly elected.