The loser of the Kampala Central parliamentary elections Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu, has asked the Court of Appeal to allow him to serve his rival Muhammad Nsereko with the appeal challenging his victory through newspapers or court notice boards.
On Tuesday, Nyanzi’s lawyer Justine Semuyaba told a panel of three Court of Appeal Justices Geoffrey Kiryabwire, Stephen Musota, and Christopher Gashirabake, that his efforts to serve Nsereko since last year have been futile.
According to Semuyaba, although Nsereko sent his lawyers to the High Court to represent him, the lawyers reportedly refused to receive and acknowledge receipt of the petition.
Nyanzi says that he appealed against the decision by the High Court to uphold Nyanzi’s victory but up to now, he is failing to serve him with a copy of the appeal.
He wants the court to allow him to serve Nsereko through newspapers, television, or court notice board, or allow him to proceed in his absence.
Justice Kiryabwire wondered how Nyanzi has since last year failed to serve Nsereko, a person based in Kampala and now wants court to help him effect service.
Kiryabwire further questioned Nyanzi’s lawyers on how Nsereko’s lawyers could have refused to receive and take a copy of the petition to their client. Kiryabwire noted that this could have been a case of disciplinary action and promised to deliver judgment on notice.
The Electoral Commission-EC lawyers Eric Sabiiti and Hamidu Lugoloobi said that they had filed written submissions in Nyanzi’s appeal.
EC declared Nsereko, an Independent leaning candidate winner with 16,998 votes while Nyanzi, the National Unity Platform-NUP candidate garnered 15,975 votes.
Nyanzi filed a petition in the High Court against the Kampala Central Returning Officer, EC, and Nsereko for conspiring to alter election results in a number of polling stations which reportedly affected the final results in a substantial manner.
Justice Margaret Apiny dismissed the petition on grounds that Nyanzi did not personally serve Nsereko and didn’t exploit available options like asking the court to extend the time for service such that he could serve him.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal has promised to deliver their judgment on notice in the appeal arising from the Gomba district Woman Member of Parliament elections.
In the appeal, Betty Ssentamu is challenging the victory of Sylvia Nayebale as the Gomba woman MP for having connived with the Electoral Commission to rig victory.
Ssentamu’s petition was dismissed by Mpigi High Court for failure to pay 50,000 Shillings as part of the court fees, a decision that she is challenging. She now wants the Court to hear her petition based on its own merits but not on the technicality.