The High Court in Kampala has deferred to next week Wednesday, the delivery of the much-awaited ruling in the ownership contestation of National Unity and Reconciliation and Development Party (NURP), which was recently renamed National Unity Platform (NUP) and handed over to presidential aspirant, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
Bobi Wine’s leadership of the party came under scrutiny when two of its founders; Mr Difas Basile and Mr Hassan Twala, petitioned the High Court in Kampala.
They claimed Mr Moses Nkonge Kibalama, the founding president of the party, changed its name and transferred its leadership to Bobi Wine without their knowledge and consent.
At the last hearing on September 25, the presiding judge, Mr Musa Ssekaana, said he would give his ruling today (Friday) to resolve the controversy over the name and its leadership
However, last evening, Judiciary’s Principal Communications Officer, Mr Solomon Muyita, revealed that the ruling is not ready for delivery today.
“The judge has said, the ruling will not take place tomorrow as anticipated because the parties filed their submissions on Tuesday. It was not humanly possible for him to read through the submissions and deliver the decision tomorrow (today) as slated,” Mr Muyita said by telephone yesterday.
“The new date for the ruling is now Wednesday next week and this will be done by way of e-mail so there is no need of the litigants to come to court physically on that day,” he added.
The case involves two people; formerly of NURP- Mr Difas Basile and Mr Hassan Twala, who are seeking deregistration of Bobi’s renamed NUP.
The duo petitioners contend that it was illegal to change their party name without consulting them.
Bobi Wine is jointly sued with NUP party, Mr Kibalama, Mr David Lewis Rubongoya, Ms Aisha Kabanda, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi (spokesperson for NUP), Ms Flavia Kalule Nabagabe, Mr Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu, the Electoral Commission, and the Attorney General.
Mr Basile and Mr Twala, are further seeking court declaration that the resolution dated May 12, 2017 nominating Bobi Wine as the NUP presidential flag bearer for the 2021 general elections, is illegal and in contravention of the party constitution.
Justice Ssekaana also denied social media allegations that his life is in danger for presiding over the said highly political case.
“The judge also denies being under any threats from anybody and that he has been going about his routine work as usual,” Mr Muyita further said.
Still at the last hearing, while being cross-examined, when put to task to say who the leader of NUP is, Mr Kibalama said it is Bobi Wine, whom he affirmed had been elected by a delegates’ conference in Kakiri two months ago.
He also told court during the same tense cross-examination that upon handing over the party to Bobi Wine and group, he has since been sidelined.
Mr Kibalama also said people who should be in the rightful positions, have since been thrown out of the party, a move that made him file new evidence in the case.
According to court documents, NURP was gazetted as a political party in Uganda on December 13, 2004 and issued a certificate of registration on December 28, 2004.
The duo petitioners contend that in 2019, without any color of right and in breach of the party constitution; Mr Kibalama and EC illegally changed its party name to NUP and on July 14, 2020 illegally handed over its political leadership to Bobi Wine.
They further aver that Mr Kibalama did not pass the requisite resolution to change the party’s name under the NURP party constitution of 2004.
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