Uganda: Court Petitioned to Stop Museveni Swearing-in
By Derrick Kiyonga
Citizens claim the president is 79 years old.
Two citizens yesterday asked the High court to halt the May 12 inauguration of President Museveni. In their application, Moses Bigirwa and Hakim Kizza contend that Museveni is 79 years old, which according to the Constitution would make him ineligible to be president of Uganda.
In his affidavit, Bigirwa wrote: “That I verily believe that the respondent [Museveni] is 79 years old as he participated in the general elections of 1961 and he was a voter and staunch supporter of the late Benedicto Kiwanuka and the respondent [Museveni] was 23 years old.”
According to details on his national identity card, Museveni was born on September 15, 1944, meaning that he is 72 years old this year. But the petitioners want the court to issue an order subjecting Museveni’s bones to a scientific examination to establish his true age.
Bigirwa says he has knowledge that in 1966 Museveni had already established a strong political relationship with the former Cuban president and revolutionist Fidel Castro.
“Due to their friendship, the respondent [Museveni] was given a pastoral gift by Fidel Castro. He was 27 years old at the time,” Bigirwa notes.
“It’s just, fair and equitable that this court grants the applicant [Bigirwa and Kizza] the prayers sought,” they conclude.
The case was first filed in the High court’s Execution division. But last evening, the court announced it had transferred the matter to the Civil division. The Execution division reportedly only deals with processed cases – not fresh petitions.
“Any litigants are free to file a case in the court provided the case is in English and he or she has paid the relevant filing fees,” said a statement from chief registrar Paul Gadenya Wolimbwa. “Our duty is to receive the case and process it accordingly; even if the matter is frivolous.”