When celebrated city comedian Kato Lubwama declared his bid to run for member of Parliament for Rubaga South, many thought it was a usual political comedy and few could believe that he would later beat the incumbent John Ken Lukyamuzi.
In the wake of the February 2016 general elections, Mr Lubwama won with a landslide margin against political comedian Lukyamuzi then fondly called ‘The Man’.
Kato Lubwama’s troubles came early this year when he travelled to the US alongside other MPs to attend the Uganda north American association (UNAA) convention on the taxpayer’s bill which sparked controversy among the lawmakers that remained in Kampala and the public alike after MP Lubwama and his colleagues like Mohammad Nsereko representing Kampala Central posted flashy pictures on social media vacationing in California.
Lubwama was quick to respond to the public criticism calling them ‘rubbish and uncalled for’ arguing that as Members of Parliament, they were salaried and besides, he was rich even before joining the August House. The opposition and social media critics took their gloves off. It turned nasty from there on.
Dragged to court
As rumored, Habib Buwembo, a voter from Rubaga South who doubles as the Forum for Democratic Change Secretary General for Rubaga Dvision dragged Kato Lubwama to court accusing him of being illegally nominated and subsequently voted as an MP.
According Buwembo’s petition, contends that his area MP lacks the Primary Leaving Examination Certificate (PLE), Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) and Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) or its equivalent which are a requirement to becoming an MP.
Documents from court show that Kato Lubwama failed English, Mathematics and Commerce but got a credit three in Religious Education.
Lubwama who allegedly enrolled for a mature entry program to do exams leading to the award of a diploma in music, dance and drama using the same documents above was aged 22 in 1998 yet Buwembo maintains that the mature entry was for those above 25 years at that time.
Justice Margret Oumo Oguli on Monday granted permission to Rubaga South voter Habib Buwembo saying there was unchallenged evidence on court record showing that Kato Lubwama lied to the Electoral Commission that he possesses a valid certificate of O’level.
The judge noted that Buwembo had proved that it took him seven months to discover the said fraud, UNEB having clarified on Kato Lubwama’s academic papers on the October 10, 2016 hence filing his application on the October 12, 2016.
“Fraud is a serious allegation and it should be taken seriously and carefully. It cannot be merely exhausted through investigations since these matters pertaining an MP’s qualification are of a great national importance,” Justice Oumo said.
According to Justice Margret, there was unchallenged evidence on court record showing that the Hon. Kato lied to the Electoral Commission that he possesses a valid Uganda Certificate of Education from Old Kampala SSS yet the same is not registered by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau.
Alex Ajiji the Registrar of the Civil Division of the High Court this week therefore issued summons against Kato Lubwama to file a defence against Buwembo’s petition within 15 days.
Ugandans still await to witness a landmark court case that would set precedence for challenging the legality of an MP after the constitutional 100 days.