By John Semakula
The Electoral Commission (EC) will soon organise by-elections to fill up the Kampala mayoral seat, which became vacant in November after former Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago was impeached by city councillors.
EC spokesperson Jotham Taremwa told Saturday Vision that the by-elections would be conducted within the mandatory six months. Counting from November, the six months elapse in May.
“We have a letter notifying us about the availability of the vacancy of the Lord Mayor and we are planning to fill the seat,” Taremwa said.
Asked whether EC was not aware of the ongoing case in court filed by Lukwago, challenging the impeachment, Taremwa said they do not know what is happening between Lukwago and the courts.
According to the law, only the city executive director, Jennifer Musisi, is supposed to inform the EC about the availability of a vacancy for a Lord Mayor.
EC chairperson Prof. Badru Kiggundu, while appearing on a TV talkshow recently, said Musisi had not changed her earlier communication to the commission about the vacant seat.
“We have started early, so we shall beat the deadline,” he added.
Lukwago was impeached following a tribunal report compiled by Justice Catherine Bamugemereirwe, which found him guilty of abuse of office.
Court says Lukwago secured an injunction before he was impeached and High Court judge, Yasiin Nyanzi, who issued it, insists the petitioner remains the Lord Mayor.
But the Attorney General on Wednesday filed a petition, asking Justice Nyanzi to disqualify himself from the case, arguing that he was biased based on the way he has previously handled the case. Justice Nyanzi is yet to rule on the application.
Asked whether EC was legally organising the by-election, judiciary spokesperson Justice Erias Kisawuzi said Lukwago’s case, is not connected to the by-election.
“I do not want to comment on the by-election because there is no such a case before court. Anybody aggrieved with the by-elections can petition court,” he said.
Lukwago’s lawyer, Medard Seggona, said the commission was colluding with the Government to frustrate court proceedings
“Since they want to hear from us, definitely, they will,” Seggona said.
Meanwhile, the race for Kampala mayorship is heating up, with several people declaring their intensions to contest.
Bernard Luyiga, a city councillor who is eyeing the seat, vowed to crush his opponents; former Kampala mayor Hajji Nasser Ntege Sebaggala and former Makindye East MP Michael Mabikke. “I have all the necessary qualifications to contest for the seat. That is why I have offered myself for the job,” he said.