President Museveni’s former Prime Minister and secretary General, Amama Mbabazi has just lost a presidential election petition that has helped to legitimize Museveni’s rigged victory in the February 18th polls.
The constitution required the Supreme Court to carry out an inquiry into the electoral process but instead it conducted a hearing.
In an inquiry the Supreme Court is mandated to look for evidence beyond what is presented by the parties.
In a hearing the Supreme Court relies only on evidence brought by the parties as was the case in the instant petition.
It is obvious that the evidence was hidden in the leopard’s a**s which the court feared to poke its finger into thus the option to compose the “There was no evidence” song which they launched on 31st March at the Supreme Court.
On the contrary, a well pleaded petition though would still be dismissed on Museveni’s order, it would have exposed the regime’s excesses to the maxmum and given the respondents a better run for their moñey. The Mbabazi petition was hastily prepared, poorly pleaded and may not even offer any missions for students of constitutional law.
When Mbabazi was denied the opportunity to run against Museveni in the party primaries, he opted to run as an independent.
He made futile attempts to rally the opposition behind his candidature under a loose coalition, TDA. As an independent candidate, Museveni opted to give him 1% of the total votes cast. The same Museveni gave the runners up Dr. Besigye 35%.
Much in a fraudulent process Mbabazi would still not have beaten Museveni and Dr. Besigye, his allocation of 1% was designed to portray him as a very unpopular person in Uganda who even had no support within the regime party.
Reacting to the court ruling, Mbabazi told a press conference that he was working on a way forward. He reiterated his earlier stand that his Go Forward political platform was to pursue non confrontational means. Recent events in the political arena have significantly skyrocketed the FDC and Dr. Besigye’s political rating both locally and internationally.
The big questions are:-
- Had he been the opposition flag bearer under TDA, would he have defeated Museveni?
- What did he intend to achieve fron the court petition; has he achieve it?
- What does need in order to become the main face of opposition to Museveni?
- Can he become the face of opposition against Museveni without dismantling the FDC and Dr. Besigye?
- Can the issues at hand be resolved by reactivating the TDA?
Sarah Nalukenge the author is a social and political commentator