These are one’s reactions to Daily Monitor reports of what JPAM has offered as explanation for the reason why he lost his petition against the declaration of President Museveni as president elect 2016. JPAM’s reported explanations are in bold.
The Supreme Court is not fettered by the usual use of technical rules in conducting hearings. It has the freedom to go beyond what is presented at the hearing. What we envisaged in the short run was that court would use its discretionary powers to call in experts from outside what was presented, take for example the Inspector General of Police to come and explain.
Really, perhaps, anyway, seemingly, this may be the case in ‘ordinary’ cases were the petitioners and respondents are poor people. Judges at ‘free will’ decide to rule on the basis of evidence not presented in court? Mmmmmm.
Eeeeeh! This is new knowledge of how JPAM thinks the Uganda version of the global-western legal system works. Really, perhaps, if you put it into context of other similar cases, such as, for example, the one of President Uhuru Kenyatta and the International Criminal Court (ICC), when ICC prosecutors and judges sought to compel the accused, the President of Kenya, to compel the Government of Kenya to provide evidence that will incriminate the President of Kenya.
You know for us in Uganda there is a tendency to be just copycats. But really, that President Kenyatta won against the ICC is a good precedent, JPAM, which you should have taken into consideration and factored into the premise and thesis of your petition.
People, you JPAM in particular, there are very few heads of state like Pope Francis, actually possibly none. In fact, it is doubtful that even Pope Francis would be allowed by the Vatican to formally authorise the release to courts of law Vatican incriminating evidence.
Away from heads of state, is there really anyone, you think, who would freely share self-incriminating evidence with their accuser or the authority which is adjudicating the case in which they are accused?
Is it not, in fact, the core of lawyers’ work to know the ‘truth’ from their client but to protect that ‘truth’ under lawyer-client privilege (as in if you committed the crime, you tell your lawyer you did it, but your lawyer is not allowed to tell opposing counsel or even court that you actually confessed to your lawyer that you committed the crime)?
Yes, lately, one is watching a lot of court-room drama series, such as “How to get away with murder”. One shares this information that it might help to contextualise one’s incredulity. How could a Senior Lawyer such as you, JPAM, offer the people of Uganda such a lame excuse?
One finds you, JPAM, guilty of raising the nation’s blood pressure to nerve-racking point and for wasting resources – making accusations to the Supreme Court for which you did not have legally sufficient evidence and then hoping the Supreme Court judges would find the evidence for you. One, who is not among the learned fellows, stipulates, therefore, that you, JPAM, have ashamed the legal fraternity.
This is a weakness on the framers of the laws in the Constitution, which I am among – the herculean task to present all the evidence within a short time under the law. I am going to continue to pursue the idea of reforming the law so that the petitioner is given enough time to gather and present enough evidence in court.
This is what you should have admitted in the first place, JPAM. But since you did not, it means that during your campaign, you lied to us, JPAM. You proclaimed that you had deployed high technology to document evidence of election malpractice (read stealing of votes for President Museveni).
You categorically stated that you were well equipped to ensure that your votes would not be stolen. You said you knew how votes had apparently in the past been allegedly stolen for President Museveni – as in you knew the stealing tricks. For example, you were quoted as having said to your supporters:
Handle the polling station level and leave Kampala to me. We shall handle that. Do your part and trust me to do the rest.
So, what went wrong or where did things go wrong? Who let the other down, your supporters or you? It seems to one that it was actually you who failed to face the reality that the election results gave you. Your supporters were few, but, nevertheless, they did their job at polling station level. At least that is what the Supreme Court Ruling seems to imply.
It is understandable. At the time of your campaign you may have still been drunk with perceived power. After all, you had become accustomed to state power and this may have led you to delude and convince yourself that even outside of the state machinery you are equally a powerful man who could beat the state machinery. Not so it seems.
But now, one thinks, you are actually more appreciative of the real realities of Uganda. Yes, it is honourable that it is now your mission to contribute as best as you can to cause the repealing and reframing of unjust laws, some of which you were part of bringing to life. One wishes you much success.