The Executions Division of the High Court in Kampala has given the Electoral Commission (EC) up to two weeks to pay over Ugx 60 million as bill of costs to Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante.
The EC this morning through its lawyer Tom Magezi appeared before the court to explain why it had not paid its share of the bill of costs that arose from a 2011 petition against the electoral body and former Rubaga North MP Singh Katongole.
The court had through its Deputy Registrar Irene Akankwasa summoned the EC together with Singh Katongole to explain why they had not cleared the bill. Kasibante was granted costs worth Ugx 120 million to clear the bill after emerging victor of the court process.
Magezi explained that the EC was willing to pay its share of the bill of costs standing at Ugx 60.8 million but was delayed by Kasibante’s failure to submit his bank details to effect the payment.
Magezi further stated that Singh Katongole had already paid up the additional 50% percentage of the bill of costs (about Shs60.8 million) to his political rival.
Chrysostom Katumba, the lawyer who represented MP Kasibante confirmed to court that Katongole had given them cheques worth Ugx 50 million towards clearing up his bill of costs.
He however, asked court to issue orders to have EC properties attached to recover the balance on grounds that they had not taken the matter of payment with urgency.
But presiding Deputy Registrar Akankwasa concurred with Magezi’s submissions and gave them more time since they had come to court and showed interest to pay them before May 30.
Court will sit again on May 30 at 2:30pm to report on the EC’s compliance.
This matter for bill of costs arose from the 2011 election petition lodged after the election of Kasibante as Rubaga North MP was overturned after Singh Katongole illegally secured a vote recount at Mengo Court.
Kasibante then petitioned the High Court that nullified Singh’s victory and ordered for the return of Kasibante as the lawfully elected Rubaga North MP. But Singh being dissatisfied with the High Court judgment, appealed to the Court of Appeal.
Later, the Court of Appeal later threw out Katongole from the House on technicalities after it agreed with Kasibante’s lawyers that he had delayed to prosecute his appeal within the prescribed time limit.