The Independent Coalition candidate Elton Joseph Mabirizi has given his official position on the presidential election petition filed by Rt. Hon Amama Mbabazi challenging 2016 general election results.
The Independent Coalition, TIC, said it believes that the struggle for the restoration of democracy will be conducted on several fronts.
Mabirizi in a statement said he firmly believes in the saying: “different fronts, same struggle”
“However, we do not believe that a court petition is the best way forward in the circumstances.”
To save the country and petitioners from the huge expenses of a court petition whose outcome is not likely to be different from that of 2001 and 2006, Mabirizi proposes an out of court settlement that involves a public hearing on the conduct of the 2016 Presidential election, during which all evidence of electoral irregularities will be presented and analysed.
“We maintain our considered opinion that this petition has the potential to be a diversionary act, which can only serve to legitimise the contested victory of Mr. Museveni.”
He says the bank accounts of the lawyers that will spend time on this case will get fatter, the Supreme court staff will also receive a boost through over-time allowances spreading over 30 days, and other related costs, to be picked by the same people whose vote was stolen- the tax payers.
The media houses, continues Mabirizi, will also whip the frenzy of the otherwise inconsequential petition and will be complicit in selling a false image of a law abiding regime to the local and international audiences.
“With due respect, the Justices of the supreme Court- all of them, are appointed (handpicked) by Mr. Museveni in the same way commissioners of the Electoral Commission are appointed. We have also heard talk of some so called cadre judges before.”
The matter of the stolen election victory is a political one, Mabirizi notes, adding, that it can best be solved through political means.
“The independent Coalition and I, believe that through concerted countrywide peaceful citizen action, in which I am ready to participate fully, we can cause a public inquiry to happen. The recommendations of that inquiry would then be backed by an enabling law to be enforced.”
He believes that the impact of the 30 days of hearing the petition will be negative to the urgent cause of correcting a wrong that was committed by Mr. Badru Kiggundu’s “blatant declaration of a winner who had actually lost the election”.
“Ugandans don’t need any special witnesses in this case. They saw it all themselves. All Ugandans are witnesses to the fraudulent election. To narrow the complaint to a few sworn affidavits and witnesses most of whom will be intimidated and some bought off by the corrupt regime, we shall not be pursuing true justice.”
Mabirizi maintains that only a public inquiry can widen the witness base by holding hearing sessions in various regions of the country.