President Yoweri Museveni has told the Supreme Court that he has no problem with National Unity Platform leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine withdrawing his 2021 election petition.
Kyagulanyi on Wednesday filed a formal application to the court seeking to withdraw his petition challenging Museveni’s victory after citing unfairness by the court.
However, in the response through an affidavit by Oscar Kihika, the NRM party director in charge of legal affairs, Museveni, who is the first respondent, says he has no issue with Kyagulanyi changing his mind and asking to withdraw the petition.
“The first respondent(Museveni) does not oppose the application for withdrawal of the petition and I make the above averments to set the record straight with regard to the averments by the applicant in support of his application,”Kihika who swore an affidavit as the person coordinating the team handling Museveni’s case said.
In his affidavit, Jackson Kafuuzi, the deputy Attorney General also shared the same sentiments on Kyagulanyi’s application to withdraw his 2021 poll petition.
Not happy with Bobi Wine
However, in the affidavit, Kihika says he does not agree with the reasons fronted by Kyagulanyi as having forced him to seek to withdraw the petition.
“It is not true as alleged by Robert Kyagulanyi that in previous election petitions, parties were given free rein to produce evidence throughout the trial. I know in the presidential election petition in 2016, curt gave definite deadlines for the filing of evidence,” Kihika said.
He says that the court gave ample time to Kyagulanyi to file their evidence contrary to what he avers in his application for withdrawal.
“The applicant within the allowed time by court only filed seven copies of one bound volume of affidavits containing 50 affidavits and subsequently filed three affidavits named supplementary affidavits. The content of the affidavit by the applicant alleging abduction of witnesses is a false claim which is irrelevant to the current application as the evidence to be relied upon in this petition was already before this court at the time of filing this application.”
Kihika says that some of the national ID documents and particulars of the witnesses whose signatures were found to be forged were attached to the respective affidavits in the court through the application by Kyagulanyi.
Museveni’s lawyers say that Kyagulanyi conducted himself in a way that didn’t give respect to the Supreme Court, noting that it would be wrong for him to turn around to accuse the same court of bias.
“The applicant conducted himself with total lack of decorum and with contempt of this court when he held a press conference to announce his decision to withdraw the petition, falsely claiming that his decision was based on the recusal of the three justices of this honorable court to recuse them yet no recusal application had been made by the applicant.”
“The applicant in the same press conference made disparaging remarks on the justices of this honorable court.”
Wherever the lawyers made no mention of costs incurred in the case, the law stipulates that a petitioner will be liable to costs if he or she decides to withdraw a presidential election petition.
“If a petition is withdrawn the petitioner shall be liable to pay the costs of the respondent,” the Presidential Elections Act, 2005 says.