By Aminah Nabuule
The runners up in the Kawempe North election, Suleiman Kidandala has said “some people” in government that he didn’t name have asked him to back off Muhammad Ssegirinya in a petition he filed challenging his election.
Kidandala who came second in the Kawempe North January polls with 7,512 votes dragged Ssegirinya who won the seat with 41,197 votes to court for lack of requisite academic qualifications.
Speaking on Thursday after court adjourned the case, the former Kampala deputy Lord Mayor told journalists that he has on several occasions been approached by government bigwigs to see he drops the case.
“There is a lot of pressure and so many forces are insisting that the respondent(Ssegirinya) should be left in parliament for whatever interests they have. To my dismay, these are more or less government forces trying to push for this position,”Kidandala said.
“I insist that there are external matters in this case some from parliament itself and others from security.”
In the case before court, the Electoral Commission asked that Kidandala’s petition be dismissed since Ssegirinya was never served with the same.
In its arguments, the EC says there is no evidence to show that Kidandala’s lawyers served Ssegirinya with a copy of the petition challenging his election since he was in prison by the time the petition was filed.
“It’s not true that I witnessed the service of the notice of presentation of the petition on Ssegirinya Muhammed and that he refused to sign on them after reading through as alleged or that the documents were left at the prison,” says an affidavit by Felix Mugirya, the deputy officer in charge of Kitalya prison where Ssegirinya was kept.
Speaking on Thursday, Kindandala said that “external forces” could have forced the prisons staff to backtrack.
“I think that’s why the OC for prison backtracked on the issue of service yet lawyers went to Kitalya prison,signed in the registry book and even met the OC. They had a chat and even informed inmate about this particular matter but not trying to deny,” he says.
Kidandala however, insisted that he cannot back off the case until the court decides its fate.