Chief Justice Bart Katureebe must have felt a sense that he had been here before as he led eight justices of the Supreme Court in Kampala on March 7 to the pre-hearing conference of a petition against the Feb. 18 presidential election. In the petition,one of the losers; former presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi is seeking nullification of the incumbent, President Yoweri Museveni’s election on 43 grounds which include non-compliance with the law, vote stealing, and intimidation of voters and agents by security forces. Justice Katureebe is the only one of the nine justices hearing the petition to have been in a similar position before. In 2006, he was on a panel that heard another petition brought before the Supreme Court against the election of the same respondents, including President Yoweri Museveni, the Attorney General, and the Electoral Commission.
As he strode into the jammed courtroom this time, Katureebe who was decked out in red court robes, he could have been asking himself what could be different.
The Supreme Court is mandated under the Constitution to inquire into and determine the petition expeditiously and declare its findings not later than thirty days from the date the petition is filed. The petition was filed on March 01; at the last minute to the expiry of the 10 day window and the clock is ticking.
According to retired former Supreme Court Justice George Kanyeihamba, who was also part of the panel of seven that heard the 2006 petition, Justice Katureebe should find a lot that is different this time.
Full Article: Uganda: Mbabazi’s Election Petition – allAfrica.com.