Lawyers representing National Unity Platform presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi have told the Supreme Court that some of their witnesses have gone missing.
On Thursday, when the case came up for pre-hearing, the lawyers led by Medard Lubega Sseggona informed court that they had got disorganized after some of their witnesses went missing under unclear circumstances.
“We want to inform court that our witnesses have continued to go missing. Yesterday we received a phone call from Mbarara that some of them had been dumped there,”Sseggona told court in defence for not being prepared for the pre-hearing session.
“In the evening, after trying to access them, we were informed by someone that they(witnesses) were engaged in a meeting with the Deputy Inspector General of Police who had picked interest in the case.”
The lawyers told court that they were not able to sit in a scheduled meeting with their counterparts from the respondents’ side because they were still trying to solve the issue.
Sseggona asked court for more time to file their affidavits and consequently asked that the pre-hearing session be adjourned to a later date so that they get more organized.
Speaking in response, the Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny Dollo said alluded to the fact that the case hearing is 10 days behind schedule, noting that it is high time he set strict timelines to be followed.
“As you are all aware, a presidential election petition by Constitution and the Presidential Elections Act should be heard and disposed of expeditiously and within the specified time. Court has no power to extend this time frame yet the matter must be determined in 45 days. It is really important that we abide by this timeline or else we might end up in a crisis,”Dollo said.
He, therefore, noted that Kyagulanyi’s lawyers have up to February 14 to file their affidavits in the matter while the respondents(Museveni) have up to February 20 to file their affidavits in response.
Justice Owiny-Dollo said Kyagulanyi’s lawyers will also have to file their rejoinder by February 23 whereas the case will come for pre-hearing on February 24.
Lawyers from both sides will have a chance to cross-examine witnesses and also present electronic evidence between February 25 and 26 but also present their written submissions including the rejoinder between February 23 and March 4.
The court will deliver its judgment on March 18.
February 14 – Closing date for filing affidavits by Kyagulanyi lawyers
February 20—Closing date for filing of affidavits by Museveni and EC lawyers
February 23– Closing date for filing of affidavits in rejoinder by Kyagulanyi’s lawyers
February 24- Pre-hearing by the Supreme Court
February 23– Filing written submissions by the petitioner
February 25- 26- Cross examination for witnesses and presentation of electronic evidence
March 2- Filing written submissions in response by the respondents
March 18- Judgment day