On May 19 2009, the court threw out a petition against my election as Woman MP for Ssembabule district. I am glad that justice has prevailed.
When the High Court, sitting in Masaka, threw out a petition lodged against me by Joy Kafura Kabatsi, who I have severally defeated in the Ssembabule Woman MP elections, I prayed that the people of Ssembabule would finally move on without thinking about endless by-elections.
However, I heard some people claiming that they had lost confidence in the judiciary because of this judgement in my favour. I have endured a strenuous court process over the last four years. This has affected me emotionally and physically, but I have not lost confidence in the system.
In the 2006 election petition, again by Joy Kabatsi, justice prevailed in my favour, but because the Electoral Commission lost, court called for a by-election. I ran again in the same elections on January 7, 2009 and won. I had hoped that finally, the people of Ssembabule would settle and work for development. After swearing-in at Parliament, my competitors took me back to court. Petitions were filed on February 3 and February 9 by Joy Kabatsi and Isha Ntumwa. But the court threw out the petitions on May 19.
The court clearly pronounced itself on most of the issues that the petitioners raised. For starters, the petitions were filed irregularly. In the ruling, under the first issue, court found that I was not served with the petition and that the petition did not follow the right procedures.
The court finally ruled that in the instant applications, the orders made for substituted services, were, therefore, both nullities. The ensuring substituted service was also not service in law. It was wrong from the start.
The court ruled further that no petition can stand where the candidate, who is a statutory respondent, has not been served with the notice of presentation of the election petition. I quote the judgement: â€œAccordingly, both election petitions No.0001 of 2009 and 0002 of 2009 are dead matters. They were killed by the operation of the law. No amount of judicial resuscitation can inspire any revival into any of them. Each of them is, therefore, struck out as dead material on the court register.â€
During the many years I have spent in the corridors of court, I have come to appreciate the independence and tolerance of the judiciary system.
I have appreciated the fact that there are issues that are settled by law, there are those that are termed as void ab-initio and issues that are dead before courts: Matters that cannot be resuscitated.
I call upon my opponent, Joy Kabatsi, and her supporters to settle down, now that the court has made its final pronouncement on the issue.
We should come together for unity and development for the betterment of the people of Ssembabule district. We should put our differences aside and promote the ideologies of the NRM, the party that we all profess to be following.
During my tenure as a leader in Ssembabule, I have helped people develop. I have assisted womenâ€™s groups in most of the sub-counties including Matete, Lwemiyaga, Lugusulu, Lwebitakuli and in the town council. I have helped the women and youth get skills that can help them develop.
I have done all these things without discrimination. Now that the court sessions are over, I will put emphasis on improving the lives of my people.
The writer is the Woman MP for Ssembabule district
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Time to work for unity in Ssembabule