The Democratic Party-DP leadership under Norbert Mao has run to court to challenge a recent order that paved way for the election of a parallel National Executive Committee.
On March 9th, 2020, DP members opposed to Mao’s leadership led by Rajab Ssenkubuge secured an order from the head of the Civil Division of High Court Justice Dr. Andrew Bashaija to convene a National Council. The meeting was convened on March 13, 2020, to allegedly fill up the vacant positions of National Executive Committee Chairperson, Secretary-General, National Treasurer and Vice-Chairperson for the Women’s League for the smooth running of the party activities.
During the meeting, Wakiso District LC V Chairperson, Matia Lwanga Bwanika was elected National Chairperson DP Chairperson, Busiro East MP; Medard Lubega Sseggona was elected Secretary-General, Mary Babirye Kabanda, National Treasurer, Patrick Katuramu deputy National Treasurer, Racheal Kagoya, Deputy Women’s leader and Alex Kiwanuka as Busoga Region representative.
However, Mao’s leadership has filed a suit before the High Court Civil Division against Rajab Senkubuge and his faction, Democratic Party Uganda. In his application through his lawyers, Semuyaba, Iga and Company Advocates, Mao wants the court to quash Justice Bashaija’s decision that paved way for the said elections.
He says the respondents led by their lawyer; Samuel Muyizzi had no instructions from the Original Democratic Party, a corporate body to enter any consent on behalf of the party, whose leadership they are opposed too. He says the said consent that was entered by the said faction on March 9th, 2020 was obtained fraudulently through collusion and misrepresentation contrary to the court policy because the material facts of the application were based on an illegality.
Mao contends that on April 8th, 2019, Ssenkubuge applied for judicial review prerogatives against Democratic Party Uganda, a nonexistent entity. He explains that the then DP Organising Secretary in Charge of Supervision and Coordination, Sulaiman Kidandala swore an affidavit opposing the reliefs sought by Ssenkubuge. He says they were particularly opposed to the application because Ssenkubuge’s actions were not sanctioned by NEC, which is vested with powers to direct the National Council and other DP Administrative Organs to take such decisions.
Mao says that the DP he leads learnt about the said order via social media and news reports, adding that they have since lodged a similar complaint with Electoral Commission. He notes that the court order arising from Ssenkubuge’s application doesn’t bind DP and should thus be reviewed and set aside. The court is yet to summon the respondents to file their defense to the suit.