Opinion: Joel Ssenyonyi Court victory a credit to the NRM Government
By Ambrose Mwesigye
High court in Kampala on Thursday October 14th ruled in favour of NUPs Joel Ssenyonyi and ordered Mukesh Shukula Mambumai to compensate the National Unity Platform party spokesperson also Nakawa West MP, in an election petition arising from the January 2021 elections.
Mr Mukesh, a top City business and staunch NRM cadre had petitioned Ssenyonyi challenging his victory as the duly elected Member of Parliament for Nakawa West. The NRM man in his petition asserted that Ssenyonyi did not meet the requirements of running for the office of MP.
He first argued that Ssenyonyi had no requisite academic papers to run for the office of MP, then after alleged that Ssenyonyi’s birth names did not match with those on his academic credentials.
High court judge Isaac Muwata in his ruling said Mukesh did not have substantial evidence to challenge the election of Ssenyonyi. He sterningly directed Mukesh to compensate Ssenyonyi for all the legal costs he has incurred throughout the trial.
Mr Ssenyonyi, is not the first NUP parliamentarian to win an election petition, in a judicial system the opposition calls draconic. Earlier on, embattled Kawempe North Mp Ssegirinya Muhamad aka Update had won a similar petition. His could have been lost outrightly given the fact that much had to be scrutinised to actually prove that validity of his papers, had the judiciary and the state apparatus been diabolic as portrayed by the opposition, much as the petition had been filed by the FDC candidate.
There are a number of cases where the opposition has trounced the NRM and they have shied away from giving credit to the judiciary but wait for the state to classifiedly use an iron hand( which is global standard in handling threats to stability), then they like weaver birds raise voices in choruses of political discord.
Apparently, top NUP leaders who had been jailed for different reasons of breach during the climax of the 2021 elections are free and on frenzy to party after party. Their beautiful glaring photographs have gone viral, as the leasing Party leaders show off fruits of their labour in a “draconian state run by the junta”, as they say.
They shout that political prisoners should be set free unconditionally and in disrepute to correctness of security and legalistic processes.
To them once a process followed does not work to their immediate interests, then the judiciary is biased and the state is brutal but to this one with a genuine mind has some questions;
1. What is the peculiarity in a case when the process favours them like in the matter of Mukesh Vs Ssenyonyi?
2. Is this an expertriate judicial officer from California, working on the American legal procedures who reigned on the Junta and ruled in Hon. Joel’s favour against NRMs Mukesh?
3. If the judiciary has done a good job in this matter and many others without state interference under the same junta Government that organised elections where the opposition overthrew themselves, and one of them- the NUP became leader of opposition, then is it not legitimate for the entire opposition to give a thumbs up to the ruling Party and entire state apparatus for a transparent exercise of the principle of rule of law?
Ambrose Mwesigye Amanyire is a former RDC, 0782477369