Former contestant for the Kawempe North MP seat, Suleiman Kidandala has dropped his appeal challenging the election of Muhammad Ssegirinya into parliament.
He communicated the decision through his lawyers of Alaka and Company Advocates in the February 17th 2022 letter to the Court of Appeal Registrar, a copy which Uganda Radio Network has seen.
In the January 14 polls, Kidandala got 7,512 votes against Ssegirinya’s 41,197, prompting the former to run to court for lack of requisite academic qualifications by his rival.
High Court judge Henrietta Wolayo however dismissed the petition on grounds that Kidandala had failed to serve Ssegirinya as required by the law, describing the petition as redundant and ordered each party to bear the costs of the suit.
Kidandala then appealed the decision in the Court of Appeal where it was pending.
“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 1st Respondent has portrayed the Appellant as if he is on the side of the tormentors,” reads the letter.
Adding that, “this has greatly compromised the Appellant’s values of truthfully fighting for the underdog in society and progressive change. We therefore instructed to pray that the appeal is withdrawn”. The Court of Appeal Registrar Dr. Alex Mushabe received the letter during the conferencing session.
The Judiciary spokesperson Jameson Karemani confirmed the development to URN in an interview. Kidandala contested and lost to Ssegirinya in the January 14th, 2021 parliamentary elections. He polled 7,512 votes against 41,197 votes garnered by Ssegirinya. He ran to the high court accusing his rival of lack of the requisite academic qualifications and the fact that he isn’t a registered voter in Kawempe North.
Ssegirinya has never appeared in court since the case started and neither has he ever sent lawyers to represent him since he claims he was never served and therefore not aware that his election is being challenged.
Ssegirinya is currently in prison where he is held alongside his colleague, Allan Ssewanyana on allegations of being behind the recent spate of killings by machete welding goons in the greater Masaka region.