Opposition figures Col Dr Kizza Besigye and Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine have been dragged to the Constitutional Court for establishing and operating unregistered political organizations.
The two are also being accused of using these organizations to carry out activities that are constitutionally a reserve of duly registered political parties.
The petitioner, Mr Ntare Adens Rutaro, wants court to declare the activities of both the “People Power” movement under Bobi Wine and Col Besigye’s “People’s Government” as unlawful.
Ntare, through his lawyers of Newmark Advocates claims the two organizations are currently “mobilizing political activities and membership with a view of influencing political process, sponsoring a political agenda and offering a platform to candidates for election to political offices and participating in governance”
Such, he notes, is a reserve of duly registered political parties and organizations as stipulated under Article 72(2) of the Constitution of Uganda.
Bobi Wine has repeatedly stated that People Power is indeed not a political party but a “social movement.”
Through this movement, he has been mobilizing Ugandans to acquire national identity cards and ready themselves for the 2021 general elections.
He has also declared intentions to contest for president in this election.
This week however, he took it a notch higher by unveiling a team of dozens of People Power representatives that will be running political mobilization work in all parts of the country.
The People’s Government on the other hand was established three years ago by Col Besigye, after he lost the 2016 Presidential election, — his forth defeat –, to incumbent President Yoweri Museveni.
Insistent that he won the election, Besigye declared himself President of the People’s Government, which to this date runs complete with its own cabinet, and a parliament which yesterday had its first sitting.
Also listed in Mr Rutaro’s Constitutional Court petition is Mr Joel Senyonyi, the spokesman of the People Power Movement, and Attorney General William Byaruhanga.
Rutaro says he’s suing Byaruhanga for his failure to curtail Besigye and Bobi Wine’s activities.
“He… failed to halt the activities of both unlawful organizations (Vide; People Power Movement, The People’s Government) is an abdication of a constitutional mandate, and therefore inconsistent with and in contravention of Article 72 of the Constitution of Uganda 1995,” he said.
Rutaro also wants the AG to be “ordered to halt the unlawful activities of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd (Besigye, Bobi Wine and Senyonyi) until they comply with the requirement of article 72 (2) of the Republic of Uganda.”
According to his lawyer Francis Ainomugasho, Mr Rutaro, himself a lawyer, is not representing interests of any political organisation, but those of all Ugandans.
Speaking to us on Friday evening, Mr Senyonyi, said he was unaware of the petition.
“No, we haven’t been served yet, I’m hearing this from you,” he said.
He however said that People Power has a sturdy team of lawyers that will be taking this matter up.
The Constitutional Court Registrar in the letter informing the respondents about the petition, said they have up to 10 days to have filed a response or it would be heard in their absence.