By Andante Okanya
Three of the 10 political parties the Electoral Commision (EC) intends to de-register, have vanished without a trace.
At the High Court in Kampala, the EC legal team led by Eric Sabiiti lamented that the electoral body had failed to trace the offices of the parties to serve them court action papers.
The listed parties are Progressive Alliance Party(registered April 13, 2005), Bridge Party(registered October 13, 2005), and National Redemption Party(registered December 14, 2005).
The case arose this year on July 16, when the EC petitioned court to de-register the parties over alleged inactivity, saying they had not updated their profiles in the commission's records.
Court presided by Justice Stephen Musota has been expected to hear the case. But Sabiiti asked for permission to serve them through alternative means, through newspapers.
“We seek an adjournment to file an application for substituted service for three political parties,” Sabiiti said.
There was no objection from the lawyers present Fred Masaba(AG’s representative), Cranmer Tayebwa, Robert Ndyomugenyi, and Apollo Nyabongo. EC head of political parties desk Patrick Byakagaba, was present.
Accordingly, the judge directed the parties to appear before the civil division registrar Tadeo Asiimwe on Thursday, to hear the application for substituted service.
Hearing of the main case is fixed for November 11.
The EC purports that the 10 political parties have not submitted to the commission a written declaration stating their source of funding and other assets, as required by law.
The other parties on the EC deregistration list are Action Party(registered December 15, 2004), Uganda Mandate Party(registered March 22, 2005), and New Order Democracy( registered October 15, 2005).
Also included are People's Independent Party(registered April 7, 2004), Movement for Democratic Change(registered July 28, 2004), National Redemption Party Movement Volunteers Mobilisers Organisation(registered March 22, 2005), and Reform Party(registered March 22, 2005).
Court documents show that in a letter dated May 2, 2013, the EC secretary Sam Rwakoojo, informed the secretary generals of the listed parties of imminent de-registration.
He also castigated them for failing to hold delegates conferences to elect executive members.
Rwakoojo noted that Section nine of the Political Parties and Organisations Act, 2005, requires that every political party within 60 days after expiry of the first year, and after issuance of certificate of registration, to submit to EC its updated records.