The High court in Kampala has today ruled to grant Rubaga South Constituency Voter Habib Buwembo, permission to challenge Rubaga South MP Kato Lubwama’s academic qualification that would see him thrown out of parliament.
However, Lubwama in his response had maintained that neither Buwembo nor Justice Oguli has the power to extend the time set by parliament, and allow Buwembo to file an election petition against him.
In her ruling, Court dismissed Kato Lubwama’s defence and allowed Lubaga South voter Habib Buwembo to file an election petition intended to throw Kato Lubwama out of Parliament.
“The application is allowed and the applicant is hereby directed to file the election petition against the respondent within 30 days from the date of this ruling,” held Justice Oguli-Oumo.
Justice Margaret Oguli-Oumo in her ruling said that contrary to the MP’s lawyers assertions, the High Court has powers to extend the 30-day time limit within which an election petition may be filed after the gazetting of an MP’s name in the Uganda Gazette as the duly elected parliamentary representative.
Buwembo in his application had also requested for a time extension of about 30days so that he can get the 500 signatures needed to support his petition, to throw Lubwama out of the 10th parliament, because the time within which he should have done so lapsed.
To this, the Judge noted that lack of necessary evidence to pin Kato Lubwama had prevented Buwembo from filing the application within the 30 days, which should now not be used to penalize him.
In allowing Buwembo’s application, the Judge has also awarded the applicant costs of the case for two lawyers.