The National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, has said he will challenge President Museveni’s election in court and that he is compiling evidence to support his petition.
Mr Kyagulanyi told Daily Monitor in an exclusive interview on Saturday night that despite the Internet shutdown by government, his team was able to gather good evidence to present before court to challenge the election results the Electoral Commission declared at the weekend.
Presidential election petitions are filed in the Supreme Court and the court has up to 65 days to dispose of the petition.
Mr Kyagulanyi said besides the Supreme Court, they have other options where to seek justice which include foreign courts.
“We have said it before that we have all options on table including the legal option. We intend to go to local and international courts of law to challenge this election which was filled with irregularities,” he said yesterday.
“There are many reasons why we have rejected this election starting from the violence we went through during campaigns. We have declaration forms from various polling stations, ballot stuffing and arrest of agents, among other pinning evidence, which we shall use in courts of law,” he added.
Bobi Wine did not specify which international courts he would petition for justice or the kind of cases he would file there. Foreign courts of international jurisdiction don’t hear election petitions from a particular country. Courts such as International Criminal Court and other special criminal tribunals hear criminal cases on genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye has twice challenged President Museveni’s electoral victory in the Supreme Court in 2001 and 2006. On each occasion, the Supreme Court judges unanimously confirmed there had been mass irregularities but on a split majority ruling, declined to nullify the election on account that the vote had not been stolen enough to warrant annulment of Mr Museveni’s victory.
In 2016, presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi also filed a presidential petition challenging Mr Museveni’s victory but the court dismissed his petition for lack of sufficient evidence to prove election fraud.
Mr Museveni was declared winner of the January 14 presidential elections with 58.64 per cent against Mr Kyagulanyi’s 34.83 per cent. Mr Patrick Oboi Amuriat of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) got 3.24 per cent, Maj Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu of Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) (0.65 per cent), Mr Nobert Mao of Democratic Party (0.56 per cent). Independents Henry Tumukunde got 0.5 per cent, Joseph Kabuleta (0.44 per cent), John Katumba (0.36 per cent) while Willy Mayambala and Fred Mwesigye got 0.25 per cent and 0.15 per cent, respectively.
Without giving specific statistics, Mr Kyagulanyi said he had won the election but said the EC does not have the figures from all polling stations.
“We are compiling our votes and we shall tell the that I beat Gen Museveni fair and square in this election. If the EC is independent enough as they claim to be, let them publish the election results per polling station in our local media,’’ he said.
“We call upon Ugandans to reject what Mr Byabakama announced as the results. We all saw that people turned up in large numbers than ever before but it is surprising that the EC boss said that only half of the registered voters turned up at polling stations. Unfortunately, I am under incarceration at my home and no one can visit me and I can’t go out but once the internet is restored, we shall give the world all these things,” he added.
Figures from the EC indicate that the Thursday poll had a voter turnout of 57.22 per cent, which is less than 62.61 per cent in 2016 and 69.2 per cent in 2006.
On Friday evening, Mr Kyagulanyi said the army and police had deployed at his house and some of the operatives had jumped into his compound.
On Saturday morning when Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake visited his home, he was reportedly brutally arrested and beaten. He was taken to Kasangati Police Station but police allegedly refused to detain him because of his severe injuries. Mr Zaake was taken to Rubaga hospital where he was admitted.
By yesterday, MP Zaake was still hospitalised but his wife, Ms Bridget Namirembe, told Daily Monitor that both the X-ray and CT scan had ruled out bone fractures but his health was still poor.
“The doctors told us that he had sustained multiple soft tissue injuries around the neck, the back and limbs. His eyes were also affected but he is improving and he will soon be fine. We don’t know yet when he will be discharged,” Ms Namirembe said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mathias Mpuuga, the NUP deputy president for Buganda Sub-region, yesterday told the media at the party headquarters in Kamwokya, Kampala, that some of their polling agents were being hunted by police in their homes and confiscating the results declaration forms.
“We have received reports of some of our agents being attacked in the middle of the night and beaten. We condemn these actions in the strongest terms possible. We are Ugandans who are peaceful,” he said.
When Daily Monitor visited one of the assaulted NUP agents, Mr Andrew Natumanya, in the suburbs of Bukoto, Ssempijja Zone, the middle-aged man was being supported out of his house and being taken to hospital.
“They took my phones, cameras and all my gadgets. They asked me why I always calling Bobi Wine and what we talk about. When they checked my phone contacts, I had saved the number as president. They beat me even more and asked me to call my president to come to my rescue,” Mr Natumanya narrated.