Conversation with Petitioner John Patrick Amama Mbabazi (JPAM)

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.

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9 comments

  1. […] monitors’ report, statements and conclusions were never presented as evidence in support of the Uganda Supreme Court petition that challenged the election of President […]

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  2. omuse febian · · Reply

    this country z already rotten we need to ammend electro laws en reduce executive influence on other arms plse m7 has really killed democracy that was started by obote en others

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  3. JPAM has now tested what they framed and surprise he fail to protect her votes yet he told people indirectly that he has been the centre of museven’s votes meaning he would win with higher percentage and also when you come to the courts of uganda there are no truth more when the case is challenging the president b’coz they being appointed by the president,you see kadaga has not been going by the president now they are planning to through b’coz she could go by the law,more so when she refused to block the rebel mp in parliament therefore to extend jpam is right some where ,some how

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  4. Stan Burkey · · Reply

    Is JPAM serious? What a farce.

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  5. Kasumba edward · · Reply

    Democracy is a roller coaster which no one can stop or control .besigye, jpam and others are courageous enough to take a ride because they know what democracy is.As for those who despise democracy, their journey is shortlived

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  6. masanga isaac · · Reply

    You will agree with JPAM; that the SC has been seldom to. Widen the scope of the petitions and carry out an investigation on its own motion. The reason is not known? To me its not judicial to find that there was no evidence to prove certain facts in a Petition of that nature; well knowing that is the last stage and the law allows an investigation.

    Surely, amendments are long over due.

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  7. Gloria · · Reply

    Opposition should understand that its not all about violence but what’s affecting people and involving them but not those hooligans that even away people.

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  8. Bantu · · Reply

    Dr Besigye, JPAM,Kanyeihamba,Bert Katureebe,and most of the people who had much interest in the last elections and its outcomes,were all framers of this constitution who in their wisdom gave ”ten” days to gather evidence for the petition.Now why do they cry to us who never participated in framing the constitution?

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  9. Eboku Augustine · · Reply

    Those Top Leaders- JPAM- DR BESIGYE, Should Stop Fighting/Approaching Democracy In Ug As Individuals, But They Should Come Together &The Most People They Should Involve Are The Local People, Not The Town Mayors Who Are Money Oriented.

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