Uganda being a former British colony, the official language is English. It slightly above 50 different tribes including the Banyarwanda tribe that Museveni created through his 1995 constitution.
These different ethnic communities speak different languages. The language of court in Uganda is English.
The recently concluded presidential election petition was conducted in English. One of the widely spoken languages is the Runyankore/Rutooro/Runyoro/Rukiga commonly referred to as Runyakitara.
It is spoken by the people of erstern Uganda (Bunyoro, Tooro, Ankole, and Kigezi) except the Bakonzo of Kasese. Out of the nine Justices who presided over that petition, six of them are from the western region and speak Runyakitara.
The petitioner, Amama Mbabazi is from western Uganda and speaks Runyakitara. Out of his 7 advocates, six were from western Uganda and speak Runyakitara. The 1st Respondent, Museveni is from the western region and adopted Runyakitara as his local language.
Out of 36 of his Advocates, 30 were from western Uganda and speak Runyakitara. The 2nd Respondent, Electoral Commission defacto Chairman Sam Rwakojo (forget about Eng. Kigundu) is from western region and speaks Runyakitara.
Out of his 10 Advocates, 7 were from the western region and speak Runyakitara. The third respondent, Attorney General Fred Ruhindi and his Deputy Mwesigwa Rukutana are all from western region and speak Runyakitara.
Out of the 8 advocates from the Attorney General’s legal team, 5 are from western Uganda and speak Runyakitara.
Though the respondents looked to be separate entities, it can be authoritatively asserted that all the Advocates for the three as one and going by the name of Team Museveni. They had a common enemy to defeat and had to share resources.
The entire panel of Justices had been appointed judges by Museveni thus why unlike the previous petitions, this time around all the nine unanimously ruled in favour or Museveni. The respondents’ legal team (Team Museveni) was composed of the usual Lawyers who have always been handling the regime’s constitutional challenges, multi-million controversial contracts, and legal defence of regime cronies.
The Chief Justice was a Museveni cabinet Minister, Attorney General when he defended Uganda against DRC at ICJ, helped rule in favor of Museveni in the Tinyefuza cibstitutional petition in the late 1990s, ruled in favor of Museveni in the previous election Petition. His young brother Col. Octovious Butuuro, was at one time the Deputy CMI and is now the Military Attache in Rwanda.
Also on the team was the former Solistor General, Peter Kabatsi who after retirement founded Kampala Associated Advocates – a law firm in which Chief Justice Katurebe is a founding partner.
Its the same firm that has always been defending some of the regime’s legal challenges and in the instant petition it provided a number of Lawyers for the defence of Museveni.
The Electoral Commission had the former Managing Director of the defunct Uganda Railways Corp (URC), Enos Tumusiime as its lead counsel. He was assisted by Mac Dusman Kabega his co-partner in Tumusiime, Kabega and Co. Advocates.
After sweeping clean URC, he had resigned in 1997 following criminal investigations by both parliament and courts for causing financial loss of over 1.2b shilling over transportation of copper riverts belonging to Pearl International Commodities (UK) Ltd.
He had been appointed to that position by Museveni after displacing the former MD, Karamagi. Tumusiime brother, Gordon Mwesigye who is currently the Secretary at UHRC was at the time the Town Clerk Kampala City Council. In private practice, Tumusiime has been defending the regime’s high profile looting sprees. Among them are the following:
– US $ 8.8M breach of contract award by court over the NSSF construction of Workers House by Alcon International in 1998. Then High Court Judge Stella Arach and one of the Justices of the Supreme Court who ruled in favour of Museveni in the recent election petition is the one who awarded the $8.8M damages.
– The most recent 169 billion shillings pensions scam by Cairo International Bank whereby the said bank had conspired with officers in the Public Service ministry to create 2605 ghost beneficiaries. Tumusiime secured a court order restraining an impending trial of the bank and its officials.
What is clear is that Museveni’s 30 years hold on power has created a reasonable ground for his reign to be perceived as western Uganda aligned. This was clearly manifested in the just concluded election petition whereby it was made to look as if it was an internal disagreement amongst westerners over their power sharing.
The rest of the regions were left as mere spectators. The fact is that it is not western Uganda as such but a small geographical area and a clique of a few individuals whom Museveni has over the years deliberately made the major beneficiaries of his patronage policy.
That is why the petition was overwhelmingly dominated by players from the western region that even if it had been conducted in Runyankole, it would have proceeded well. Even the legal jargons like amicus curse would have been translated as ‘munywani w’ekibunu K’yengwe (friend of the leopard’s a..s).
At this rate if nothing is done the 2021 presidential election petition by the 1st run up, Charles Rwomushana against the winner and 1st respondent, Gen (Rtd) Muhoozi Keinerugaba and the 2nd respondent, Kiruhura District Council will witness the Cattle Corridor Association and the Rwenshama Fish Mongers Association applying as amicus curae
Change of the Guards.