The Principal Judge, Flavian Zeija has been petitioned over the delayed judgment in a case in which a city lawyer wants prisoners and Ugandans abroad allowed to take part in the forthcoming 2021 general elections.
Lawyer Steven Kalali in 2018 petitioned the High Court seeking to have prisoners allowed to take part in the forthcoming general elections but the judgment is yet to be delivered.
The Electoral Commission on Tuesday released the revised roadmap for the 2021 general elections.
However, in a letter to the Principal Judge, Kalali says whereas the election program has been released, the judgment in the matter he filed has never been delivered.
“The pleadings in the above matter were closed by June,08, 2018 and court schedule judgment/ ruling for December, 19, 2018. To our surprise, the matter was again adjourned to February 2019 which was never never delivered,” Kalali says.
The lawyer says in his petition that the judgment was later adjourned to June 2019, September and later March 2020 but the same was again adjourned.
“On June, 9, 2020, owing to a communication via whats app on Civil Division advocates group, her worship Sarah Langa requested for our emails to be availed so that we can be in position to receive our judgments in our respective suits before Justice Lydia Mugambe which had been scheduled for June 10 and 11, 2020. To our surprise, all other judgments/ rulings were delivered save for mine,” Kalali says.
He explains that no explanation has been given to him or his lawyer over the matter.
The lawyer further explains that on contacting the court registrar Sarah Langa, he was told that she has not yet received it and that he should be patient.
“I wish to complain that being an electoral related matter, I am very much disappointed with the manner in which it is being handled through numerous adjournments.”
He has requested the Principal Judge to ensure the matter is expedited since it touches Articles 1,2 and 3 of the Constitution.
In his case, Kalali says that ever since the inception of the Constitution in 1995, Uganda has had five general elections and all of them have excluded citizens in the diaspora and prison inmates.
The lawyer told court that whereas in other countries like Kenya, Sweden and South Africa, citzens in the diaspora and inmates are allowed to vote, denying Ugandans in that category a right to vote infringes on the Constitutional right.