The High Court in Kampala has dismissed an application in which two people were seeking to block nomination by the Electoral Commission of all candidates from the National Unity Platform from participating in the forthcoming elections.
In August, Basile Difas and Hassan Twaha dragged Moses Nkonge Kibalama, founding leader of National Unity Reconciliation and Development Party-NURP and ten others to court for selling the party without authorization to Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine and the name was changed to the National Unity Platform.
The group ran to court seeking for a temporary injunction blocking the nomination of all NUP candidates by the Electoral Commission pending the disposal of the main case challenging the sale of the party.
However, on Tuesday, Justice Musa Ssekaana said he could not block the nomination of NUP candidates as this would see the party members suffer irreparable losses in case the main case goes into their favour.
“The first respondent(NUP) already took part in the electoral process by participating in the national youth election and therefore an injunction at this stage would create more confusion before the court pronounces itself on the merits and demerits of the main case,” Ssekaana said.
The judge warned that courts should always be careful while issuing orders or temporary injunctions that may see parties involved in cases suffer irreparable damages in future.
Ssekaana also declined to halt the use of the new name, National Unity Party as well as kicking the party leaders out of office as had been asked.
“The status quo is that the first respondent (NUP) changed the name and cannot be stopped from using the name or return to the former name,(NURP). The leaders of the party are office-bearers whether illegal or not in office. Court can’t restrain them from holding office as this would put the party activities in limbo and yet the court has not yet determined the matter.
“The issuing of an injunction is the discretion of the court and consequently declines to grant the temporary injunction,” Ssekaana added.
The judge however fixed the main case for hearing on September 18, 2020.
Members of National Unity Reconciliation and Development Party –NURP dragged to court, its founder, Moses Nkonge Kibalama , president Robert Kyagulanyi, David Lewis Rubongoya, the Secretary-General, party spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi, deputy Secretary-General Aisha Kabanda, Secretary for Women Affairs, Flavia Kalule Nabagabe, Secretary for National mobilization Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu and Senior administrative secretary Paul Ssimbwa Kagombe over the recent changes.
Two NURP members Difas Basile and Hassan Twala say that changing the party name to National Unity Platform, leadership from Nkonge Kibalama to Kyagulanyi, party colours, logos and change of list of founder members and subscribers was unlawful since it didn’t follow the party constitution.
The duo also says that handing over of the leadership to Kyagulanyi following an illegal extraordinary delegates conference attended by only 51 members during the Coronavirus lockdown was illegal.
The NUP leaders are accused of illegally taking over leadership of the party without going through the rightful procedures.
The NURP party members want court to declare that it was illegal for Kibalama to hand over leadership to Kyagulanyi and also want court to issue an order to declare all changes illegal and the party returned to the rightful members.