Africa & World

Bobi Wine threatens to withdraw poll petition over ‘frustration’ from the Court

UGANDA’S opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly knowns as Bobi Wine, has threatened to withdraw an election petition against President Yoweri Museveni, citing “bias” and “frustration” from the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court rejected Mr Kyagulanyi’s additional evidence in over 120 affidavits sworn by senior members of his National Unity Platform (NUP) party and close friends in support of the petition.

The Court said these were filed a day late. The court had given a deadline of February 14 for the filing of evidence. 

Addressing reporters at his party offices in Kampala on Tuesday, Mr Kyagulanyi, flanked by senior party leaders, said that if such frustrations from the Court persist, they will be forced to withdraw the petition.

“We have been collecting evidence and more is still coming in but the Supreme Court has rejected 250 affidavits we filed yesterday (February 15) much as hearing of the petition hasn’t started. We want to put the Supreme Court on notice that if this persists, we are not going to be part of that mockery, the next step is to take the matter to the public court,” Mr Kyagulanyi said on Tuesday.

The court’s rejection of new evidence from the Mr Kyagulanyi camp is the second blow to them since they filed the petition.

Last week, a panel of nine judges dismissed his application to amend the suit and include new grounds, noting that the issues he intended to add to the petition had already been included in the original one.

Mr Kyagulanyi also wants the composition of the Court to be changed. Of the nine judges chosen to hear the petition, Mr Kyagulanyi wants three of them to recuse themselves from the hearing arguing that they have close ties with President Museveni who is the first respondent to the petition.

He named Uganda’s Chief Justice Alphonso Owinyi-Dollo, who was on Museveni’s defence team during the hearing of the 2006 electoral petition filed against Museveni’s win by former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye.

He also named Mike Chibita who was Museveni’s private secretary for seven years and Ezekiel Muhanguzi, a relative of Security Minister Elly Tumwine.

Mr Kyagulanyi’s petition urges the court to annul the just concluded general election, claiming widespread irregularities and malpractice. He wants the Court to order fresh elections.

The country’s Electoral Commission announced Museveni winner of the January 14, 2021 election with 58.64 per cent of the vote. Kyagulanyi came second with 34.83 per cent.  – The East African

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