Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | The panel that will hear the contentious Age Limit Petition at Mbale High Court has been named.
Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Ddolo Tuesday listed Justices; Remmy Kasule, Kenneth Kakuru, Elizabeth Musoke and Cheborion Barishaki as the ones he is going to work with.
The date has however been changed from April 04, 2018 to April 09, 2018 which is agreeable to all the Justices.
The Deputy Chief Justice also notified the parties in this case that he consulted the Chief Justice about convening the Court in Mbale, who dismissed the petitioners’ earlier claim as baseless.
This during the final scheduling conference of the case in which Attorney General represented by his Deputy Mwesigwa Rukutana, and Petitioners’ lawyers led by Wandera Ogalo agreed to consolidate the five Petitions and determine them at once.
The Parties also agreed on a number of issues for the Court to determine including;
- Whether it was within the law for parliament to extend the term limit for MPs and Local Council leaders from five to seven years, yet the Constitution provides for up to five years,
- Whether it was right for the legislators to extend the conducting of the General Elections from 2021 to 2023,
- Whether Parliament was right to remove the cap of 75 years,
- Whether it was constitutional for security forces to enter Parliament and disrupt proceedings, and going ahead to interfere with their constituency consultations on the age limit bill.
- The Justices will also determine whether the actions of the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga in suspending five MPs from Parliament, was in contravention of several Articles of the constitution.
Justice Ddolo assured the Lawyers, their clients and the public at large that the selected panel of Justices is going to treat this case in accordance with the law, and in respect of the oath they undertook to dispense justice without fear of any consequences.
He however, reminded the parties to leave politics behind as they travel to Mbale, come ready to speak the law and leave the Judges to decide the petition.
In January this year Opposition Members of Parliament led by their Leader Winfred Kiiza, the Uganda Law Society, PDP President Dr.Abed Bwanika, and aggrieved citizens from Tooro Region among others filed petitions in the Constitutional Court challenging the newly enacted “Age Limit” law.
The aggrieved parties say they do not agree with the whole process of conceptualizing, tabling, consultation, debating and passing of the age-limit bill in parliament on December 20, 2017 which did not put into consideration Civil liberties of Ugandans.
They want the amendments nullified and order for the General Elections to be conducted in 2021.
They also want Court to order government compensate the MPs for the mistreatment by the security operatives