My focus is on next election – Minister Tumwesigye

My focus is on next election – Minister Tumwesigye
Dr Elioda Tumwesigye

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, says that he isn’t bothered by the Constitutional Court judgment nullifying his election since his focus is on the 2021 general elections. On Friday 27th, the Constitutional Court overturned the election of six Members of Parliament in newly created municipalities across the country.

The judgment affected Patrick Ocan, the Apac Municipality MP, Tarsis Rwaburindore Bishanga, Ibanda Municipality, Hashim Sulaiman, Nebbi Municipality, Asuman Basalirwa, Bugiri Municipality, Peter Abrahams Lokii, Kotido Municipality and Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, the Sheema Municipality MP.

The unanimous judgment by the five Constitutional Court justices led by the Deputy Chief Justice, Alphonse Owiny-Dollo stemmed from an application filed by the former Bufumbira East MP, Eddie Kwizera challenging the legality of the constituencies created after the 2016 general elections. Kwizera argued that the six constituencies were illegally created by parliament and asked court to declare them null and void.

“In the premises, I would hold that the elections conducted in the sixth affected municipalities mentioned in this judgment are not elections for an office of Member of Parliament existing under the Constitution because they are not general elections or by elections. Secondly, the seats contested for did not have a vacancy and were already represented by the elected MPs in the general elections of 2016,” said Justice Christopher Madrama.

However, Dr. Tumwesigye says judgment was directed at the Electoral Commission (EC) and Attorney General (AG) and not the legislators as individuals.

“So, the lawyers can argue out if they want to appeal. But those are challenges that are on this planet. People face challenges, if you don’t want challenges or don’t face any difficulties you go to fool’s paradise but if you are on this planet, you get challenges but fire on. Me I don’t have time for negative energy, I have time for positive energy so, the responsible people will sort it out,” he argued.

The Minister said that he is currently in his constituency focusing on the next election.

Read Also: Why Ugandan court kicked out six MPs out of Parliament

Patrick Ocan, the Apac Municipality Member of Parliament says Kwizera had an angle to argue his case but they also have theirs as the affected parties. He recounts that when the six municipalities were approved by parliament in 2015 others constituencies were approved but their elections was postponed due to budgetary limitations.

Ocan also noted that the Constitutional Court didn’t hear from any of them about the petition. He says the omission gives them ground for petitioning the Supreme Court to challenge the judgment.

The Bugiri Municipality MP, Asuman Basalirwa told this publication on Friday evening that he will challenge the judgment if parliament and Electoral Commission don’t act.

Electoral Commission Spokesperson, Jotham Taremwa, told this publication that they hadn’t yet received a detailed judgment. He said EC will decide a way forward after studying the arguments in the judgment.