The superior court of Massachusetts, USA has rejected to grant preliminary injunction against Monday Atigo’s UNAA executive and ruled he is the validly elected President of Uganda’s oldest diaspora association.
Atigo and seven others including; John Julius Muwulya (UNAA deputy president), Peter Eric Mukunya (UNAA secretary), Michaal Stephen Kimbugwe, Alex Ssemwanga (UNAA speaker), Edward Kyobe, Peter Tsebeni Simbi (UNAA EC) and Joseph Kizito (Member), were dragged to court by rival Daniel Kawuma claiming they were illegally occupying office.
Kawuma contended that he is the legally elected President of UNAA following victory in February online polls and therefore requested court to set aside Atigo and group as well as compel them to hand over instruments of power including; bank accounts and communication platforms.
However, court presided over by Hon Judge Edward P. Leibensperger ruled that Kawuma had no mandate to sue Atigo as he is constitutionally elected.
Court also ruled that it was wrong for Kawuma to sue using UNAA as an organisation because he is the real party of interest and not UNAA. It also ruled that the February elections won by Kawuma violate Article 6:13 of the constitution which spells that elections of UNAA executive must be done during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on labor day weekend.
“The gentleman who was elected on September 1, Mr Monday Atigo is the legitimate president of UNAA until 2019,” judge Leibensperger ruled.
Leibensperger argued that Mr Atigo neither resigned nor was impeached, which still makes him the valid UNAA President, on the basis, he rejected Kawuma’s injunction.
“Ruling on preliminary injunction doesn’t stop the Case. More charges on the way including fabrication of documents addressed to the United States Embassy in Kampala in exchange for monetary compensation,” Kawuma said after the ruling.
Atigo talked tough after the ruling saying that since he has the legal mandate by court, he will not allow any more disruptions from Kawuma .
UNAA speaker Alex Ssemwanga urged Kawuma to respect the outcomes of court.
“Kawuma went to seek justice in court which he has got, I pray he understands that the justice is for all of us and he should respect it,” Ssemwanga said.
Kawuma has started acting in his presidential capacity, launching programs as well as soliciting for financial sponsorship. It is not clear if he will proceed following the ruling.
UNAA has been the centre of disagreements for long, with members previously agreeing on record that a financial token of Shs360m from President Museveni is directly responsible for the chaos in this non-profit organization.