Thanks For Reporting Them But We’re Busy With Serious Matters: High Court Trashes Lukwago’s Case Against EC

Thanks For Reporting Them But We’re Busy With Serious Matters: High Court Trashes Lukwago’s Case Against EC

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By Spy Uganda

Kampala: The High Court in Kampala has on Monday, kicked out an application by the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago seeking a ban on election campaigns in 12 districts and cities that are COVID-19 hotspots.

READ ALSO: We Don’t Have Time For Nonsense! EC Asks Court To Dismiss Lukwago’s Petition Challenging Suspension Of Campaigns In 12 Districts

Read Full Ruling Lukwago Erias v EC

Lukwago had dragged the Electoral Commission (EC) to court over illegality in the process and denial to a fair hearing to those affected by the decision.

He asked the court to quash the said directive as it would lead to him suffering untold inconveniences and losses should the court fail to rule in his favour.

However, in a 22 paged ruling via email, Justice Musa Ssekaana the Deputy head of the Civil Division of High Court upheld the EC decision arguing that the Commission was legally right because it was acting in an emergency to stop the spread of COVID-19.

READ ALSO: Lord Mayor Lukwago Drags Panicky EC To Court For ‘Dubiously’ Suspending Campaigns

“In such situations, like the spread of Covid-19, it may not have been possible to give a  hearing to the applicant and all the affected political players because of the urgency with which the administrative action needed to be taken by Electoral Commission; here the need for immediate and rapid action outweighs the need for providing procedural safeguards to the persons affected,” he added.

Justice Ssekaana says that the EC has the mandate to suspend election campaigns in case of an emergency under Section 50 of the Electoral Commission’s Act.

”The decision of Electoral Commission is premised on the increased numbers of infections of Covid-19 and this is uncontested as the same could still be taken judicial notice of supported by the current worldwide spike of a new wave of corona infection which has seen other countries getting in the second lockdown,” said Ssekaana.

READ ALSO: Just In: EC Suspends Campaigns In Kampala, 10 Other Districts Over Escalating COVID-19 Cases

He explained that the right to a hearing may be removed if prompt action needs to be taken by the administration in the interest of public safety, public health, or public morality, or broadly in the public interest as the commission did.

Read Full Ruling Lukwago Erias v EC

On December 26 2020, the  Electoral Commission suspended campaign meetings in Kampala and11 other districts and cities in the country due to the surging Covid-19 infections and persistent violation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by some political candidates.

The other districts are; Mbarara, Kabarole, Luwero, Kasese, Masaka, Wakiso, Kabarole, Jinja, Kalungu, Kazo and Tororo.

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