By Olanrewaju Oyedeji
A fresh storm appears to be brewing in Uganda ahead of the swearing in of controversially re-elected President, Yoweri Museveni.
In the latest development, two citizens have approached the High Court of Uganda to halt the May 12 inauguration ceremony of the President.
In their application, the plaintiff, 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.
“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.”