Kampala: The Electoral Commission (EC) has said that certified copies of President Yoweri Museveni’s academic papers which he used for his nomination in the 2016 presidential elections do not require any further verification.
The EC made these remarks while responding to city lawyer, Muwada Nkunyingi who in an August 21, 2020 letter had asked the electoral body to avail him with academic documents that candidate Museveni used to contest in the 2016 presidential elections as required by the Presidential Elections Act 2005.
In its response, Mulekwa Leonard, who is the acting secretary at the EC wrote that President Museveni’s (then candidate) papers are governed under Section 4 (15) of the Presidential Elections Act, 2005 (as amended).
“It states; For the avoidance of doubt, if a candidate has an advanced level certificate obtained in Uganda or qualifications higher than the prescribed qualification obtained in Uganda or obtained from the former University of East Africa or any of its constituent colleges, then, there shall be no need for the verification of his or her qualifications by the National Council for Higher Education,” Mulekwa said in a letter dated September 3.
In his letter to the EC, Nkunyingi a member of the National Unity Platform (NUP), had expressed doubt in regard to the propriety of candidate Museveni’s nomination generally as a presidential candidate for the 2016 presidential elections.
But the EC responded: “As to whether the nomination was proper and or legal or legitimate, please note that the particular issue was conclusively canvassed in PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PETITION No. 01 of 2018 (Amama Mbabazi Vs Museveni, EC& Ors ) and Supreme Court of Uganda at Page 7 thereof; the justices inter alia made the following remarks,
Based on our findings… we find that the 2nd respondent nominated the 1st respondent as a Presidential candidate in accordance with provisions of the PEA…. Accordingly, we find that there was no failure with provisions of the respondent to comply with… the PEA,” Mulekwa added.
Early this month, Nkunyingi said he would exhaust all legal means to force the Electoral Commission to avail him with academic documents that candidate Museveni used in the 2016 elections.
Nkunyingi said that while giving out candidate Kyagulanyi’s academic papers to lawyer Male Mabirizi, the EC quoted the Access to Information Act and it is the same law he quoted while asking for candidate Museveni’s documents.
“The difference is only in submission, candidate Museveni submitted his papers in 2016, candidate Kyagulanyi submitted his in 2017, then why should they delay my request?” Nkunyingi asked.
Meanwhile, Bobi Wine has responded to the EC in regards to the developments, in which he accused the electoral body of gross partiality.
”The emperor is naked, the partiality of an Electoral Commission which claims to be independent yet again lies bare for all to see. A few weeks back, someone working on the regime’s prompting applied to have my academic documents released. In only 3 days, the process to release my documents was already underway.
The same Electoral Commission has taken a month to respond to a request for Gen. Museveni’s academic documents. When they finally responded, they are speaking in tongues, the law does not empower any government body to determine the legality of the reasons given for demand of public documents. The Electoral Commission in a very clear indication of bias has taken it upon themselves not to release Gen. Museveni’s papers giving flimsy reasons, even a child can see that they are embarrassed or scared of releasing the documents.
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Doesn’t this lend credence to the assertions that perhaps what we have been dealing with for the last 35 years is a complete sham? If it is not, what are they hiding?. As the lawyers contemplate the next course of action, let me remind Mr Byabakama and all others at the Electoral Commission that they are on trial. Each day, they continue to fail the test and to expose themselves, Ugandans are watching,” Bobi Wine lamented. Watch the space….