Kidandala withdraws petition against jailed MP Ssegirinya
Former Kawempe North MP contestant, Sulamain Kidandala has withdrawn an election petition appeal he filed challenging the victory of jailed legislator, Muhammad Ssegirinya.
Kidandala says his decision to withdraw the case was brotherly, amongst other grounds.
“The appellant has decided to withdraw the above election petition having lost interest to prosecute the same for a number of reasons but most of all the continued incarceration of the first respondent has portrayed the appellant as if he is on the side of the tormentors,” reads a letter written by Kidandala’s lawyers of Alaska and company advocates addressed to the registrar of the court of appeal.
Kidandala’s letter comes barely a month after the Electoral Commission asked the Court of Appeal to dismiss the petition.
According to the application filed before the Appellate Court early last month, the electoral body through its senior legal officer Mr Jude Mwassa stated that there was no appeal on record by Mr Sulaiman Kidandala Serwadda.
They further noted that Mr Kidandala also failed to take an essential step in the institution and prosecution of the intended appeal nor did he file a memorandum of appeal required to prosecute the appeal, thus it should be dismissed.
Last year, High Court Judge Henrietta Wolayo dismissed a poll petition challenging the election of Ssegirinya as Kawempe North MP on grounds that there was no proof of effective service on Mr Ssegirinya, who at the time was being held at Kitalya government prison.
According to the judge, the non-service of the election petition on Mr Ssegirinya, meant that there was no election petition before him challenging his January 14 election.
“Applying the principle to the instant case, it goes against the strict application of the special procedures under the Act for me to extend time for service of the petition,” ruled Justice Wolayo.
The ruling of the court was after an application by the EC, in which the country’s electoral body sought dismissal of Mr Kidandala’s petition, citing failure to serve Mr Ssegirinya with the same petition as the election laws demand.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Mr Kidandala filed a notice of appeal in the Appellant court.
During the January 14 parliamentary elections, the EC returned Mr Ssegirinya as the winner of Kawempe North elections with 41,197 votes while Mr Kidandala garnered 7212 votes.
The election outcome found MP Ssegirinya in prison where he is still held to date alongside his colleague, Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West), on allegations of being behind the recent spate of killings by machete welding goons in the Greater Masaka region.