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EC finally responds to request for Museveni’s academic papers

Muwada Nkunyingi, EC boss Simon Byabakama and President Museveni: Courtesy photos

The Electoral Commission (EC) has told Muwada Nkunyingi there is no need to release President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s academic documents nor verify them.

A member of the National Unity Platform, advocate Nkunyingi, had asked the EC to avail him academic qualification details of Museveni, the flag bearer of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

The Commission had released presidential aspirant Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine’s papers following a request by lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi, a city perennial litigant.

Nkunyingi had argued that in the spirit of the Access to Information Act, the EC should release Museveni’s papers.

He lawyer argued that there was no much difference in the request for Bobi’s and Museveni’s papers.

The only difference is that Mabirizi demanded the papers Bobi Wine used for his nomination for the 2017 Kyadondo East by-election, Nkunyingi argued.

For his request, he went on, he wanted the papers Museveni had used for nomination as a candidate for the 2016 presidential election.

In their response, the EC said there was no need for the verification of Museveni’s papers, according to Section 4 (15) of the Presidential Elections Act, 2005.

“For avoidance of doubt, if a candidate has an advanced level certificate obtained in Uganda or qualifications higher than the prescribed qualification obtained in Uganda or obtained from the former University of East Africa or any of its constituent colleges, then, there shall be no need for the verification of his or her qualifications by the National Council for Higher Education,” wrote acting EC secretary Leonard Mulekwa.

On whether Museveni was properly nominated for the 2016 election, Mulekwa explained: “As to whether the nomination was proper and or legal or legitimate, please note that the particular issue was conclusively canvassed in PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PETITION No. 01 of 2018 (Amama Mbabazi Vs Museveni, EC and Others) Supreme Court of Uganda at Page seven thereof;

The Justices inter alia made the following remarks: Based on our findings… we find that the second respondent nominated the first respondent as a Presidential candidate in accordance with provisions of the Presidential Elections Act ….

Accordingly, we find that there was no failure with provisions of the respondent to comply with… the Presidential Elections Act,” Mulekwa added.

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