Kawempe North MP elect, Ssegirinya Muhammad alias Mr Update, has described as propaganda claims that he used fake academic documents to be nominated for the parliamentary seat.
The comic MP elect, formally known as Ssegirinya Richard, who was nominated on October 16 to contest for the Kawempe North Parliamentary seat on the National Unity Platform (NUP) ticket, defeated nine other candidates in the race to emerge victorious.
He polled 41,197 votes, followed by
Serwadda Sulaiman Kidandaka (Independent) who got 7,512 votes and NRM’s Kasenge Tomfisher who garnered 6,946 votes. Incumbent Latif Ssebagala (Independent) got 3,919 votes. Others were Mutazindwa Muhamood (FDC), Serunkuma Salim (Independent), Mulumba Matthias (DP), Sendawula Rogers (ANT), Nanyunja Robinah (EPU) and Barrows John Lumu.
However, acting on instructions of Sulaiman Kidandala who came second, M/S Alaka and Company Advocates, on March 15, wrote to UNEB asking the body to verify the index and serial numbers contained on Ssegirinya’s Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) and Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE).
The law firm attached academic certificates upon which Ssegirinya was allegedly nominated by the Electoral Commission. The documents now widely circulating on social media contain a stamp of the Kampala District Returning Officer – a confirmation that the Electoral Commission nominated him using the same academic documents.
Now, UNEB has responded indicating that the documents sent to them by the law firm are fake and not issued by UNEB.
A letter written by Peter Anywar, on behalf of the Executive Secretary, the UNEB candidate numbers on Ssegirinya’s O level and A level belong to other people and a school different from what is contained therein.
“Candidate U0053/054 (2007) is Nampiima Sarah who sat at Mengo Secondary School not Ssegirinya Richard sitting at Pimba’s Secondary School,” reads the UNEB letter in parts.
“Candidate U0053/754 (2009) is Nabadda Maureen who sat at Mengo Secondary School not Ssegirinya Richard sitting at Pimbas Secondary School,” adds Anywar.
He further indicates that both serial numbers on Ssegirinya’s academic certificates are fake, and thus not issued by UNEB.
The body’s spokesperson, Jennifer Kalule has confirmed UNEB’s response to M/S Alaka and Company Advocates, adding that, “UNEB did not verify and neither did it certify the said documents.”
When contacted by this reporter on the same, Ssegirinya who seemed not willing to delve into details only said, “That is just propaganda my brother.”
In July last year, UNEB clarified in a statement that aspirants who obtained the UACE or higher qualification from Uganda do not need to have their documents verified.
“…aspiring candidates who have their original Advanced Level Certificates need not verify with UNEB.” the statement read in part.
It is not clear whether Ssegirinya collaborated with some officials in the Electoral Commission to have his way through without proper documents or actually he submitted documents different from the ones in question.
Meanwhile, Kidandala has already petitioned High Court to declare that Ssegirinya was not the duly elected Kawempe North Constituency MP.
He alleges that Ssegirinya was at the time of his election as directly elected Member of Parliament for Kawempe North Constituency not qualified to be a Member of Parliamentary as he allegedly did not complete a minimum formal education of Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education and Uganda Certificate of Education.
“I also state that an illegal practice or other offence under the Parliamentary Elections Act was committed in connection with the election of the 1st respondent (Ssegirinya Muhammad), personally or with knowledge and consent or approval, when he forged Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education and Uganda Certificate of Education documents relating to holding of the election,” reads Kidandala’s petition in parts.
He also alleges that Ssegirinya was not a registered voter of Kawempe North Constituency at the time of the January 14 Parliamentary Elections.
Kidandala wants an order setting aside Ssegirinya’s election and also declare him (Kidandala) who was the second in the race as duly elected.
He as well prays that Court orders both the Electoral Commission and Ssegirinya Muhammad to pay the costs of the petition.