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Judge defends Kato Lubwama’s interim order

By Farooq Kasule

Added 25th March 2017 10:50 AM

Court documents indicate that Lubwama failed English, Mathematics, and Commerce, but got a credit three in Christian Religious Education, a pass eight in history and Geography.

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Court documents indicate that Lubwama failed English, Mathematics, and Commerce, but got a credit three in Christian Religious Education, a pass eight in history and Geography.

Rubaga South MP, Kato Lubwama. Photo/File

Justice Chebrion Barishaki, who recently issued an interim order halting the hearing of a petition in which a voter is challenging the election of Kato Lubwama as Rubaga South MP over his academic qualifications, has defended it.

In a detailed judgement read by the court of appeal deputy registrar Deo Ninzeyimana yesterday, Barishaki ruled that Lubwama’s application raises serious matters of law which need to be examined by a panel of Justices and direct on the correct point of law.

“There is indeed an inconsistence in the law especially on whether High Court has powers to allow someone to challenge the election of a member of parliament out of time stipulated under the law basing on a Judge’s discretion,” Barishaki said.

Recently, lawyers of both parties agreed that there were inconsistences on whether or not the High Court has powers to allow someone to challenge the election of an MP out of the stipulated time.

This was because six judges had overruled it while four had granted it. Lubwama was represented by Caleb Alaka while Buwembo was represented by Isaac Ssemakadde.

He also noted that Lubwama’s application was not premature since there was a substantive application and threat that the hearing of the petition may take place before an application filed in the appeal court is heard, which would amount to injustice. 

Barishaki directed the registrar of Court of Appeal, Deo Nizeyimana, to fix the application against High Court-Judge Margret Oguli -Oumo’s orders quickly.

In December 19, 2016, Oguli also the deputy head of the civil division granted Habib Buwembo permission to file an election petition against Lubwama within 30 days, which he abided with. The petition challenges his academic qualifications.

Court documents indicate that Lubwama failed English, Mathematics, and Commerce, but got a credit three in Christian Religious Education, a pass eight in history and Geography.

However, according to Buwembo, this did not merit Lubwama a UCE certificate, a prerequisite for taking Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) that ordinarily enables a person to pursue a diploma or degree course at a University.

It is alleged that Lubwama used the said documents to sit mature age entry exams for which he was admitted to Makerere University for a diploma in Music, Dance and Drama in 1993.

Recently, Ssemakadde asked Justice Steven Kavuma who headed a panel of three Justices to hear Lubwama’s appeal to disqualify him from the case citing bias.

However Kavuma is yet to give his decision on whether or not disqualify himself from the case.

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