KAMAPALA. The Court of Appeal has issued a second interim order staying the hearing of an election petition challenging the academic credentials of Mr Paul Kato Lubwama, the Rubaga South MP.
The second interim relief was issued by a single judge of the court – Justice Cheborion Barishaki.
MP Lubwama’s temporary relief will now be in force until such a time when the main application that he filed challenging the orders of High Court Judge Margaret Oumo Oguli, is determined.
While issuing the orders, Justice Barishaki noted that MP Lubwama’s appeal would be rendered worthless if the High Court went ahead to hear the election petition filed challenging his election.
Mr Lubwama is challenging Justice Ouma’s orders in which she allowed a voter in Rubaga South, Mr Habib Buwembo, an extension of time to lodge an election petition against him.
“An interim order is hereby granted pending the disposal of the main appeal by the applicant [Mr Lubwama]. Costs of the suit below and here [Court of Appeal] await the determination of the main application here,” Justice Barishaki’s ruling delivered by Deputy Registrar Deo Nizeyimana stated in part.
The build up to the issuance of these interim orders came about following December last year’s move by MP Lubwama to petition the Court of Appeal seeking to block the case saying Mr Buwembo filed it out of time.
A panel of three Justices, including Deputy Chief of Justice Steven Kavuma, is supposed to hear the appeal.
But on February 7, Buwembo’s lawyers who include Aaron Kiiza roundly objected the inclusion of Justice Kavuma on the panel saying he could be biased.
Justice Kavuma, who was yesterday expected to give a ruling on whether or not to disqualify himself from the main appeal as requested by Mr Buwembo’s lawyers, postponed his decision for two more weeks.
Hearing of the main appeal now awaits fixing of a date by the deputy registrar of the court.
This case was first filed in High Court last October by Mr Buwembo who is also a member of the Jobless Brotherhood, a loose association of activist youth critical of the state of unemployment of their peers.
Mr Buwembo contends that his area MP Lubwama lacks the minimum academic qualifications to be an MP and that he failed his Uganda Certificate of Education examinations.
Mr Buwembo further contends that according to the document signed by the then Uganda National Examination Board Executive Secretary, Peter H. Anywar, it clarifies that having obtained result 7, Kato Lubwama did not qualify for the award of a certificate.
He also says even though there is proof that he obtained a diploma in Music Dance and Drama from Makerere University at that time, he says one could also be admitted to the programme by sitting special entry examinations.
Mr Buwembo contends that although these examinations specifically targeted practicing artistes, they required the person to be in possession of a UCE certificate or its equivalent.
But MP Lubwama, according to the documents he tendered in court including one issued by the University recently clearing him, was admitted using this process in 1992.