UGANDA: CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REJECTS PETITION AGAINST VICE PRESIDENT

KAMPALA, Sept 20– The Ugandan Constitutional Court has this Friday rejected a Constitutional Petition that sought to have vice president Edward Ssekandi removed from office over allegations by his political rival Jude Mbabali, that he misused official government vehicles during the 2011 parliamentary campaigns.

A panel of five Justices rejected the petition on the premise that Mbabali’s grievance was not one that warranted Constitutional interpretation.

Mbabaali was also ordered to pay costs to Ssekandi. The rivals were present in court and exchanged pleasantries, had a chat before the judgement was delivered.

The petition arose on June 20, 2012. Jude Mbabaali purports that during the campaigns for the Bukoto County Central seat, at the time Ssekandi was Speaker of Parliament, he breached the Parliamentary Elections Act 2005 and the Constitution.

Mbabaali claimed Ssekandi diverted five government vehicles and fuel estimated at sh120m, plus government employees and other facilities attached to the office of the Speaker, for his campaign activities.

In addition, he wanted Ssekandi barred from contesting for elective office for seven years, as prescribed in the Leadership Code.

Speaking outside court, Ssekandi said he deserved to be awarded costs, as Mbabaali had inconvenienced him. The costs are yet to be compiled by Ssekandi’s legal team. “This was the most hopeless case I have ever seen in my life. From the very beginning, I saw that the case contained nothing,” Ssekandi said.

Mbabaali said he would appeal to the Supreme Court.

SOURCE: NEW VISION

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