By our reporter
The superior court of Massachusetts has dismissed a case in which Daniel Kawuma sought a preliminary injunction against UNAA executive of rival Monday Atigo.
Kawuma dragged Monday Atigo and seven others to court for illegally occupying the executive positions in the oldest Ugandan diaspora association. The seven include; John Julius Muwulya (UNAA deputy president), Peter Eric Mukunya (UNAA secretary), Michaal Stephen Kimbugwe, Alex Ssemwanga (UNAA speaker), Edward Kyobe, Peter Tsebeni Simbi (UNAA EC) and Joseph Kizito (Member).
Kawuma who was absent but represented by his lawyer claimed to court that he was the legitimately elected UNAA president and wanted Atigo and his executive to hand over instruments of power including; bank accounts and communication platforms.
Kawuma was elected in February through an online poll which Atigo and group say was unconstitutional and a sham.
Atigo argued in court that Article 6.13 of UNAA’s Constitution states that UNAA’s Executive must be elected on Labor Day Weekend during the September annual AGM (Annual General Meeting), an argument court found valid.
Court found Kawuma devoid of merit to sue Atigo under UNAA because he is the real party of interest and thus had no power to use UNAA in suit.
“The gentleman who was elected on September 1, Mr Monday Atigo is the legitimate president of UNAA until 2019,” judge Edward P. Leibensperger ruled.
Leibensperger argued that Mr Atigo neither resigned nor was impeached, which still makes him the valid UNAA President, on the basis, he rejected Kawuma’s injunction.
After the ruling, Kawuma reiterated that he will not relinquish.
“Ruling on preliminary injunction doesn’t stop the Case. More charges on the way including fabrication of documents addressed to the United States Embassy in Kampala in exchange for monetary compensation,” he said.
Atigo on the other side expressed relief upon ruling, he urged Kawuma to stop the hunt and help UNAA concentrate on other important things that benefit them and the Ugandans back home.
UNAA speaker Alex Ssemwanga asked Kawuma to respect the outcomes of court.
“Kawuma went to seek justice in court which he has got, I pray he understands that the justice is for all of us and he should respect it,” Ssemwanga said.
Kawuma dragged Atigo and group to court following botched Presidential elections in 2017, the polls that produced Atigo’s presidency were marred by irregularities and a fresh poll was declared.
However, both sides failed to agree on when to carry on the next poll, with Kawuma backed by a Board of Trustees under the chairmanship of Dr Joseph Buwembo insisting on elections in February 2018.
Atigo on the other side, backed by the UNAA Council of Alex Ssemwanga, Peter Mukunya and John Julius Muwulya as well as a section of the UNAA EC led by Peter Simbi insisted that it was unconstitutional to hold elections before the August 31, 2018 Seattle convention.
Subsequently, in feb online polls were organized by a section of EC members and won by Kawuma but refuted by Atigo and group for being unconstitutional, he would later be sworn in by conference call at a ceremony in DC.
However, Monday Atigo refused to hand him office citing illegality, as a result Kawuma dragged him and seven others to court claiming they were standing in the way of his presidency.
Uganda’s oldest diaspora association has been rocked with disagreements ever since President Museveni’s pronouncement of an annual Shs370m contribution towards the organization.
Mr Kawuma also accuses Atigo’s regime of mishandling the associations treasury. He says an audit carried out indicates that the association loses over $100,000 annually.