LAWYERS ADVISE KYAGULANYI: FORGET ABOUT NUP & PREPARE TO FACE M7 ON INDEP TICKET
By Mulengera Reporters
On Sunday late evening, Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu (aka Bobi Wine) convened a secret meeting with a team of eminent lawyers whom he trusted to be capable of giving him their independent legal opinion regarding his chances at overcoming the legal challenge posed by Moses Nkonge Kibalama, Paul Simbwa Kagombe and other NURDP/NUP founders. Justice Musa Sekana of the High Court is expected to deliver his ruling about the same dispute on Friday.
Sekana will basically will be deciding on whether the circumstances under which the party’s purported delegates conference in Wakiso, where they opted for name-change and passing over leadership to Kyagulanyi, complied with legal requirements and therefore not fraudulent as some of party founders (involved in its processes since 2004) are alleging.
All this uncertainty is a matter that has continued to give many NUP adherents, including Kyagulanyi himself, sleepless nights. The resultant uncertainty indeed explains why many of the already financially-struggling NUP flag bearers have remained reluctant to invest in campaign posters just in case the very unpredictable Musa Sekana rules in a way that nullifies everything that Kyagulanyi-led Kamwokya has politically transacted since the disputed Wakiso delegates conference.
THE MAGERE MEETING
So, as he continues to emotionally prepare himself for whatever outcome Sekana comes up with, Kyagulanyi on Sunday summoned some lawyers for a scenario-building session during which all the possible outcomes were reflected upon. One of the scenarios the lawyers built for a very attentive Kyagulanyi was that Sekana might find/hold that the delegates conference wasn’t validly conducted (as evidenced by Kibalama and other organizers on court record) implying there was effectively no change of name and leadership from NURDP to NUP and from Kibalama to Kyagulanyi as party president. “Because court must avoid the absurdity resulting from invalidating nominations of all NUP candidates [many of them are innocent] who are supposed to have already been nominated prior to the Friday ruling, the Judge could say that okay inspite of all that we are preserving the pre-Wakiso status quo whereby Kibalama remains the party President under whom all the flag bearers are to be sponsored,” one of the lawyers told a clearly very broken Kyagulanyi during the meeting.
Sources say the lawyers also focused Kyagulanyi on the possibility of the very slippery Kibalama riding on such ruling to offer himself as Presidential candidate for the party in which case Kyagulanyi won’t be able to nominate as presidential candidate under the same party platform. “The judge could save all the other lower level flag bearers to avoid an absurdity and instead block your party sponsorship as a presidential candidate in favor of Kibalama which is why you must emotionally and logistically prepare yourself to stand against Museveni as an independent candidate your NUP membership notwithstanding,” another lawyer told Kyagulanyi making him emotionally even more scattered.
The lawyers (whose names we have chosen not to disclose) are staunch members of some of the opposition parties and not necessarily NUP. Kyagulanyi believed they would have the guts to tell him the uncomfortable truths about the possible scenarios from the Sekana court. Indeed, they didn’t disappoint; they told him many uncomfortable truths. “I know you have already written to other opposition parties calling them for renewed talks to see how they can endorse your candidature but just know that the Sekana uncertainty hanging over your head must be very unsettling and it’s going to complicate whatever talks you try to have wooing those more seasoned politicians to endorse and back your presidential candidature,” one of the lawyers told Kyagulanyi insisting there was no need to beat around the bush.
Kyagulanyi was flanked by two family members and two very top NUP officials from the Kamwokya secretariat. “We all became frozen and failed even to take the tea and other drinks that were served,” one of the NUP top influentials confided in Mulengera News. “The Principal was equally broken and I even doubt he managed to have any sleep that night.” That the lawyers equally advised that as for the lower level candidates, who may be uncomfortable being sponsored by a party led by the elusive Kibalama, it was prudent to secure two sets of forms from the EC one booking or reserving nomination under the party and another as Kyagulanyi-affiliated independents. This actually is what many of the NUP adherents and designated flag bearers have done just to circumstance the Kibalama fiasco in case Sekana doesn’t rule in the Kyagulanyi favor.
One of the lawyers suggested that since Kyagulanyi is blossom buddies with Jeema’s Asuman Basalirwa, it was politically prudent for him to consider running against Gen Museveni as a Jeema-sponsored candidate if he must run under a political party. Kyagulanyi instantly rejected this proposal saying he wasn’t feeling comfortable with that arrangement because he has never fully understood the ideology on which JEEMA was founded. That Kyagulanyi (who naturally fears being eclipsed by more seasoned politicians in JEEMA) was uncomfortable with that arrangement just like he felt when Mike Mabikke and Abed Bwanika loyally offered their SDP and PDP as potential parties under which he can run or President.
Being the very unpredictable personality he has turned out to be or all to see, the meeting also reflected on the possibility of (party president) Kibalama accepting to be manipulated to cancel Parliamentary and lower level nominations of all the candidates already nominated acting in his capacity as the founding party president with his equally feeble SG Kagombe. The lawyers assured Kyagulanyi this was a bad case only getting more complicated by the decision by key actors (Kibalama and Kagombe) to make a U-turn and turning themselves into hostile witnesses. Kyagulanyi was told that the circumstances under which the disputed Wakiso delegates’ conference was held are such that the case is so bad, legally speaking, there isn’t much that can be salvaged or achieved even through the excellent cross-examination Medard Segona ably conducted publicly trying to expose the dubious character Kibalama is while discrediting his new evidence.
This is what one of the lawyers told a stone-faced Kyagulanyi at the Sunday meeting: “The best way out of this very complicated case can only be political whereby [Gen] Museveni feels he is interested in preserving NUP under your leadership in order to exercise easier control over the young people who are unquestioningly loyal to you and the case ends that way. But legally, you don’t seem to have a good case with the Kibalamas making that U-turn. Appeal can’t be an option because time is already not on your side yet such politically sensitive matters tend to make judges timid and can remain in court forever and if a miracle happens that Sekana delivers a favorable ruling, the Kibalamas can be facilitated to appeal so that the matter drags on forever just to keep you permanently tormented with your supporters so that you are finally exhausted and worn out. This is why independent candidature is the safest option you must legally ponder as per now.” That as party president, Kibalama could even be used by the state to expel some trouble-making party MPs like Betty Nambooze or anyone else and create a scenario leading to the Speaker declaring the seat vacant and force a by-election.
The other scenario that was reflected upon was the possibility of the state facilitating Kibalama with several billions which he can use to generously print posters and generally facilitate the campaigns of all the MP and lower level flag bearers already nominated so that he gains legitimacy in the middle of the financially very complicated campaigning season and win their approval and endorsement to the total detriment of Kyagulanyi who is already struggling to help candidates raise even nomination fees statutorily required by the EC. As they parted ways, the lawyers implored Kyagulanyi to reflect on all these as possible scenarios and emotionally prepare himself for whatever comes out of court on Friday.
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