Govt given 3 hours to answer Lukwago

Kampala. The High Court has given the government three hours to answer Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago’s petition seeking to cancel the ongoing campaigns for Kampala mayoral by-elections.

Justice Lydia Mugambe gave the ultimatum to the Attorney General Peter Nyombi on Friday morning. Mr Nyombi was given up to 2:30pm to give the government response to Mr Lukwago’s application.The judge gave the directive after the Attorney General told court that he could not respond to Mr Lukwago’s application because he had not had enough time to prepare. He asked for an adjournment to prepare the response but the judge rejected his plea. The Electoral Commission, which is jointly sued with the Attorney General, had filed its response to Mr Lukwago’s application.

Mr Lukwago is seeking court orders to stop the Electoral Commission from proceeding to hold the Kampala mayoral by-elections scheduled for April 17 until his main petition challenging his impeachment by the Kampala Capital City Authority councillors is heard and disposed of by court.

The judge said the subject matter of the case was urgent since the EC was in aanced stages of holding the contested by-elections for new lord mayo, with the nomination of candidates slated for March 31 and April 1.Prior to the judge’s orders, the Attorney General representative in court, Mr Martin Mwambutysa, had requested for a week to prepare the response to the case.

He said the AG should not be condemned unheard, which would be against the rules of natural justice.Mr Lukwago’s lawyer, Mr Abdu Katuntu did not object to the adjournment but insisted that it should be for a very short time.

BACKGROUNDThe EC late last year received notification from KCCA Executive Director Jennifer Musisi that the Lord Mayor position was vacant following the November 25, 2013 vote by 29 councillors against three, to remove Mr Erias Lukwago from office. Mr Lukwago challenged the impeachment but KCCA notified the Electoral Commission of the vacant lord mayor post and asked for fresh elections.


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