Kabuleta’s Case Against EC Dismissed
Kampala High court Judge Esta Nambayo has dismissed Presidential Aspirant also Veteran Journalist Joseph Kabuleta’s case against the Electoral Commission that sought to cancel the revised road map for the 2021 scientific elections; saying it was prematurely brought to court.
The Judge has ordered Kabuleta to pay EC costs of this application.
Justice Nambayo noted that Kabuleta had to first file a complaint with the Electoral Commission whose outcome he had to appeal in the High court if he felt dissatisfied.
The Judge also observed that by the time Kabuleta ran to Court, the Electoral Commission was going to engage Stake holders to come up with guidelines for the revised road map as per the press release EC issued on 16th/June/2020.
On 13th/July/2020 the Lawyers for the Electoral Commission led by Geoffrey Kandeebe Ntambirweki asked Justice Esta Nambayo to dismiss with costs Kabuleta’s application; saying it was incompetent, an abuse of court process on account of his failure to exhaust existing remedies available with a public body as required by law; and then disguised his application as one of enforcement of human rights yet it was not.
Kandeebe argued that then Secretary to EC- Sam Rwakoojo maintained that the road map as revised was reasonable in the COVID-19 pandemic circumstances and was not intended to interfere with the freedom and independence of the aspiring candidates.
Rwakoojo also said the revised road map did not seek to arbitrarily gag the public at large from taking part in a free and fair election as alleged by Kabuleta; but rather to regulate the Political Campaigns for an elected office which must be conducted in accordance with the law basing on timetables/schedules agreed upon by the Candidates and the Returning Officer.
Kabuleta through his Lawyer Daniel Waryemera had wanted Presiding Judge Esta Nambayo to first issue a temporary injunction blocking the implementation of the revised road map pending hearing of the main case; but Kandeebe informed court that Kabuleta’s failure to first file a Complaint with the Electoral Commission before going to court; could alone dispose of the entire case; which has actually happened today.