Mayambala told to hire lawyer as he seeks to inherit Bobi’s petition

Friday February 26 2021
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Former presidential candidates Willy Mayambala (L) and Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine

By ANTHONY WESAKA
By Job Bwire

The Supreme Court has advised former presidential candidate, Mr Willy Mayambala to get the services of a lawyer to file an application seeking to inherit the presidential election petition of fellow contender Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine challenging President Museveni’s victory.

This is because, according to court, Section 61 of the Presidential Elections Act demands that the interested presidential candidate can formally file an application not writing a letter, according to the Supreme Court registrar, Ms Harriet Nalukwago Ssali.

"Reference is made to your of 25th February 2021 whereby you wrote to the Hon Chief Justice for guidance on how to inherit the petition. Section 61 (2) of the Presidential Elections Act provides that "on hearing of the Application for withdraw any candidate who might have been a petitioner in the respect of the election to which the petitioner refers may apply to the court to be substituted as a petitioner for the petitioner who desires to withdraw." Basing on the above, you are hereby advised to seek the services of a lawyer with a view of filing a formal application," Ms Ssali’s respnsoe to Mr Mayambala’s letter reads.

In his letter, Mr  Mayambala  informed court of his interest in taking over and continuing with the prosecution of the petition.

Mr Mayambala says he is objecting to the withdrawal of the poll by Bobi Wine.

On Monday, Bobi Wine announced at a press conference in Kampala that he had instructed his advocates to withdrawal the poll petition he had filed on February 1, challenging the victory of  Mr Yoweri Museveni in the January 14 general election.

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He accused court of bias and frustration among others saying he was instead heading to the court of public opinion.

“I write to object to the withdrawal of the presidential petition formerly logged in by Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu against the several defendants as outlined in the petition,” Mr Mayambala wrote.

Section 61(2) of the Presidential Elections Act, allows a former presidential candidate to be substituted as a petitioner in a withdrawn presidential election petition.

Mr Mayambala, who was among the 11 presidential candidates, came last after garnering 14,657 votes translating into 0.15 per cent of the votes cast.

He now wants court to guide him on the steps to take over Bobi Wine’s petition.

“What is exactly required of me to inherit this petition? Is there any chance that new evidence can be presented to your honourable court?” Mr Mayambala asked.

Mr Mayambala’s letter to the Supreme Court comes at the time when Bobi Wine’s lawyers have started a formal process to have his petition withdrawn.

Court is yet to finalise with the gazetting process before the hearing of the application to withdrawal the petition is conducted.

On Friday, Mr Jameson Karemani, the Judiciary public relations officer of the confirmed receipt of Mr  Mayambala’s letter.

“It’s a letter addressed to the Chief Justice and he hasn’t replied to it, so we await his response guiding on what should be followed,” Mr Karemani said by telephone.

He said that despite Section 61 of the Presidential Elections Act, allowing a former presidential candidate to be substituted to inherit a poll petition that has been withdrawn, the interested party has to file an application and not write a letter.

Mr Kyagulanyi had challenged Mr Museveni’s on grounds that he was not elected in accordance with the law.

He wanted the court to annul his victory and order the Electoral Commission to organise fresh presidential polls.


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