Former presidential candidate Willy Mayambala has written to the Supreme Court seeking to take over the poll petition filed by Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine challenging president Museveni’s victory in the 14th January election.
In his letter dated February 25, 2021, Mayambala informed the Supreme Court of how he is interested in taking over and continuing with the petition which Mr Kyagulanyi is in the process of withdrawing.
“I write to object the withdraw of the presidential petition formerly logged in by Hon Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu against the several defendants as outlined in his petition. I as well write to express interest in taking on the presidential petition and seek to inherit the petition from Hon Kyagulanyi and seek to be guided” Mayambala wrote.
In the letter, Mayambala asks the court of what are the necessary procedures and what is exactly required of him to inherit the petition. He also asks if there is any chance for him to present new evidence.
Judiciary Spokesperson Mr Solomon Muyita confirmed that the Supreme Court received Mayambala’s letter and Mayambala has the legal right to takeover Kyagulanyi’s case. He however said Court advised him to formally apply for the same, since an undertaking of that nature cannot be initiated by a letter.
Article 61(3) of the Presidential Elections Act provides for substitution of the petitioner and it states that;
2 “On the hearing of the application for withdrawal, any candidate who might
have been a petitioner in respect of the election to which the petition refers may
apply to the court to be substituted as a petitioner for the petitioner who desires to
3 “The court may substitute as a petitioner any applicant under subsection (2)
and may further, if the proposed withdrawal has been, in the opinion of the court,
induced by any corrupt bargain or consideration, by order, direct that any security
given on behalf of the original petitioner shall remain as security for any costs that
may become payable by the substituted petitioner and that the original petitioner
shall be liable to pay the costs”
Mr Muyita said Court advised Mayambala to get a lawyer and lodge a formal application for substituting Kyagulanyi, which at receipt, a special court session will sit to determine the way forward.
However, among the grounds Kyagulanyi stated for withdrawal of his petition was the court’s decision to reject fresh evidence to back up his petition. His various attempts to file additional evidence were also rejected on grounds of time restraints as spelled out in the law.
Through his lawyers led by Medard Sseggona, Kyagulanyi on Wednesday formally applied to the Supreme Court for leave of court to prepare withdraw of the petition he filed at the beginning of this month.
Kyagulanyi who came second with 35 per cent of the vote contends that his victory was stolen by the ruling NRM’s President Yoweri Museveni who garnered 60.8 per cent of the total vote. Kyagulanyi claims the election was not conducted within the law and wanted the whole process annulled.
Of the 11 candidates who were in the race, Mayambala came in the last position with a paltry 0.13 per cent of the total vote and also appeared at the National Election Tally Center in Kyambogo as the final results were announced.
He also personally picked a copy of final results after a presidential campaign that depicted him as a not-so serious competitor since he did not even bother going to the countryside for vote-hunting.