The Principal Judge (PJ) Flavian Zeija has gained control of an electoral petition in which Ruhinda South MP Hon Donozio Kahonda has previously used to play ‘Ping-Pong’ to elude justice.
Kahonda, used three High Courts in Uganda to block Electoral Commission from hearing a voter’s application which sought to stop his participation in Ruhinda South race.
The petitioner told EC that Kahonda is a convict who in October 2015, was arraigned before the court on 14 charges related to impersonation and forgery of several academic documents in the name of Dickson Mutabazi, which he reportedly used to join the Jinja Military Academy on November 11 2001.
He was convicted on eleven counts and acquitted on three counts. He was subsequently sentenced to nine months in jail on all counts and the sentence was to run concurrently.
Against that backdrop the voter said Kahonda violated Article 80 of the Constitution and Section four of the Parliamentary Elections Act, “a person is not qualified for elections as a Member of Parliament if that person has within the seven years towards the election been convicted by a competent court or a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude”.
But Kahonda with the advice of his legal officers and EC lawyer Eric Sabiiti (his collaborator) filed an application in Kampala High Court refraining EC from hearing the case.
He quietly, filed another petition in Mbarara High Court over the same, under a pretext that he had withdrawn the one in Kampala.
As Mbarara High Court dismissed his second application, Kahonda used a proxy and dragged EC to Soroti High Court.
The case was filed by Bosco Okiror, the Usuk County NRM candidate on behalf of Kahonda.
The Resident Judge ruled in Kahonda’s favour on November 4 and granted an interim injunction against EC until the main application is disposed off.
But Kahonda’s happiness has been short-lived after the Principal Judge intervened and wrote to Soroti Resident Judge directing him to forward Kahonda’s file for further management.
The Principal Judge upon perusing through the file, wondered what caliber of lawyers had been advising Kahonda to play Ping-Pong yet the law would catch up with him.
“The purpose of this letter is to request you to forward the subject case files with immediate dispatch for perusal and management of the complaint,” the Principal Judge’s letter reads, to which the Soroti Resident Judge complied.
The Principal Judge then directed Kampala High Court to hear the application afresh and make a pronunciation as fast as possible since it is an electoral petition.
The Kampala High Court registrar Jamson Karemani has since issued a notice to all parties; EC, Kahonda and Okiror (proxy), that a ruling will be delivered on December 4 at 10am.
He emphasized that should any party fail to show up at the High Court, the case will be heard and decided in their absence.