By Nathan Span
Uganda Supreme Court has deliberately decided to disenfranchise the voters telling them, your vote in 2021 election was not that important to the country. By denying NUP (National Unity Platform) to amend its filing, it was regrettable and a slap in the face of voters.
None the less the petitioner, Robert Kyagulanyi has asked court to withdraw the case citing grounds of partisanship and non compliance from the Supreme Court Justices.
The case before the Supreme Court is not an ordinary case, but a case of a national importance, where every effort, must be accorded to the plaintiff in order to prove his case before the court.
By denying such an important amendment, knowing very well that, the plaintiff was illegally imprisoned in an un gazette confinement in which the very Court found interest to pronounce itself, on the side of the plaintiff, it is mind boggling and should be condemned by the society.
The Court is supposed to be on the side of the people, to give the plaintiff a chance to prove vote rigging but not to suppress incriminating evidences. Although the Court has discretionary powers to allow or deny amendments, this case has a national importance and the court should not weigh its decision on a flimsy, out of time reason to disenfranchise voters.
Ultimately, courts aim to do justice and in order to archive this, courts must consider additional and convincing evidences before it, not decide to deny the motion to amend on a single factor.
In exercising its discretion, the Court is required to strike a balance between conflicting considerations example the plaintiff’s motion to amend, would not have hindered the overall process of the trial.
The plaintiff’s motion to an amendment, must demonstrate the amendment is necessary to help clarify the matters in dispute. The court should have considered the nature and extent of the amendments requested, and whether they are material, substantial or extensive, in order to determine whether approving the motion to amend, may cause the issues in dispute to be redefined, which was not, in this case.
The court should have considered the conduct of the party requesting the amendments and their reasons why the amendments were submitted in a particular stage of the proceedings.
The party, requesting the amendments late in the proceedings, must show sufficient cause(s), to justify the delay and explain not only why it is pursuing a late application, but also why it didn’t make the amendments earlier.
Hon. Kyagulanyi had legitimate reasons to ask the three judges including the Supreme Court Judge to recuse themselves from the case.