By Simon Abaho
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Vice President for eastern Uganda, Proscovia Salamu Musumba has withdrawn the election petition filed against Kamuli woman Member of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.
Ms. Musumba had challenged Kadaga’s win before the High Court in Jinja.
In her petition, she faulted both Kadaga and the Electoral Commission for allegedly orchestrating irregularities, which affected the outcome of the January 2021 general election.
Prior to Musumba’s application, Kadaga’s lawyer, John Mary Mugisha had filed a miscellaneous application asking the same court to dismiss the petition on grounds that the petitioner failed to adduce evidence in support of her cause before court.
Musumba’s Lawyer John Isabirye argued that their client who was physically present in court had agreed to voluntarily withdraw the petition and it was not prudent for the defense counsel to pursue their application to dismiss the petition.
However, both the respondents’ and applicants’ lawyers later consented to the withdraw of the petition, prompting the presiding judge, Issa Sserunkuma to recall the petition.
Sserunkuma further asked the petitioners’ lawyers to orally submit their application to withdraw the petition and he tasked the applicants to pay costs incurred by respondents’ throughout the petition.
Musumba told journalists after the court session that her agents were tortured, a section of voters were bribed, among other irregularities and she had a strong case before court but, resolved to withdraw the petition as a means of fostering unity within Busoga sub-region.
Musumba further stresses that to date, unknown individuals were endlessly threatening her key witnesses in support of the petition, which was making some of their lives uneasy. She argues that in the interest of agitating for peace, since several individuals were grouping up themselves in cliques to engage in endless fights, withdrawing the petition is a great step in ensuring that warring parties concentrate more on developmental issues aimed at improving their livelihoods rather than uncontrolled intrigue against each other.
Commenting on the development, Ms. Kadaga said the petition was a waste of time because Musumba couldn’t overturn a margin of over 60, 000 votes.
“Am honoured to have been represented by Star-studded team of JM Mugisha, C Alaka , E Ocieng, E Okuo in demolishing the fictitious, concocted, mafia sponsored and backed petition of Salaam Musumba. You cannot overturn a margin of over 60, 000 votes,” former Speaker of Parliament wrote.
Musumba is the second petitioner to withdraw an election petition from Jinja high court circuit after Jinja North constituency loser Mohammed Bidondole finalized the process of withdrawing the petition which he had filed against the area MP David Isabirye on Monday.