President-elect Yoweri Museveni has responded to the presidential election petition challenging his re-election, saying he was validly elected for a fifth term in office in accordance with all electoral laws.
The petition, whose hearing starts on Wednesday, was filed by former prime minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi.
Mr Museveni, in his defence filed at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, wants Mr Mbabazi’s petition dismissed with costs saying, no illegal practices or offences attributed to him were committed by himself or with his knowledge and consent.
The defence was filed by his lawyers led by Mr Kiryowa Kiwanuka, the NRM legal counsel.
Last Tuesday, Mr Mbabazi through his lawyers, filed a petition seeking annulment of the election of Mr Museveni, which extended his 30-year rule on grounds that the Electoral Commission failed to comply with the electoral laws.
“I was validly elected in accordance with the principles laid down in the provisions of the Constitution, the Electoral Commission Act and the Presidential Elections Act,” Mr Museveni states in his defence.
The President, who ran on the NRM ticket and returned as winner with 60.7 per cent of the total votes cast, denies bribery allegation labelled against him by his former premier.
“Giving of hoes to the people of Uganda is part of an ongoing programme of the government to support farmers with agriculture implements and to improve household incomes.
This programme started well before the 2015/16 campaign and election period,” Mr Museveni said in reference to claims that he bribed voters with hand hoes in West Nile during the campaigns.
Mr Museveni also denies claims of bribing voters with Shs250,000, saying the money was paid by NRM to branches to support party activities.
He also denies using reckless statements against Dr Kizza Besigye, Mr Mbabazi and their supporters.
Mr Museveni, during the campaigns was quoted to have threatened to arrest Dr Besigye as well as warning that those who beat his supporters in Ntungamo were in danger because “they cannot touch the anus of the leopard and go scot-free”.
However, Mr Museveni says this was figurative to illustrate the recklessness of anybody breaking the law.
He also denies threatening voters that he would go back to the bush if Ugandans elected wrongly, saying he only advised electorates “to exercise their right to vote carefully to protect the gains and progress the country has achieved since 1986”.