ontroversial public interest lawyer Mr. Male Mabirizi is preparing to institute private criminal proceedings against presidential hopeful Hon Kyagulanyi Robert Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine after the latter’s academic papers availed by the Electoral Commission to Mr Mabirizi vindicate his suspicion over irregularities surrounding the Kyadondo East Member of Parliament’s real age.
On 10th August, Mr Mabirizi applied to the Electoral Commission requesting certified copies of academic papers Bobi Wine provided during his nomination for the bye-election for Kyadondo East Constituency in 2017 to verify whether the National Unity Platform(NUP) leader indeed possesses the said credentials. This was mainly due to Bobi Wine’s peculiar completion of A’level at age 16, O-level at 13 and Primary Leaving Examination at 9 as was reflected on the parliamentary website.
The academic papers from the Electoral commission reflect the NUP President’s birth year as 1980 which is different from that on the parliamentary website -1982. According to a press release by Male Mabirizi, steps are underway to retrieve several documents signed by Hon. Kyagulanyi to obtain the National ID, the Bio-data form he filled at Parliament, passport office where he applied for passport and any other government office where he was dishonest with his age.These documents according to Mr Mabirizi if retrieved will be used as evidence against Hon Kyagulanyi.
“The evidence will sustain criminal charges against Kyagulanyi under Section 76(b) of the Registration of Persons Act, 2015 which states that ‘A Person who gives false information or makes a false statement when providing information for an entry …or obtaining the issue or reissue of a national identification card …. commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred and twenty currency points[2.4m Uganda Shillings] or imprisonment not exceeding five years or both as well as Section 115 of the Penal code Act which provides that whoever gives to any person employed in the public service any information which he or she knows or believes to be false….commits a misdemeanour” the statement reads.
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The released academic credentials reveal that Mr Kyagulanyi obtained an F9 in mathematics at O’level and to this end, Mr Mabirizi claims that it casts doubts on the ability of Mr Kyagulanyi to steer the country. Mabirizi further claims that Kyagulanyi’s failure to pass General paper at A’level explains the presidential hopeful’s inability to articulate policy issues for the country.
Effort to obtain comment from Bobi Wine were futile.
If found guilty, Mr Kyagulanyi will be barred from contesting for the country’s most coveted office. This is because Article 80(2)(f) and 102(2)(f) of the Constitution bar a person who has been convicted for an offense involving dishonesty or moral turpitude within 7 years immediately preceding the election.
According to the lawyer, Hon Kyagulanyi was dishonest with his age and therefore bringing him under the purview of the bar in the constitution. Mr Mabirizi further claims that questioning Bobi Wine is not in bad faith but a necessary step if the country is to enjoy the real democracy envisaged by the framers of the constitution and block dishonest leaders from making their way to the ballot.
Mabirizi also warns those threatening violence against him as they will meet the legal consequences for the same.