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Mabirizi petitions East African court over age limit law

FILE PHOTO: Male Mabirizi

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Male Mabirizi has petitioned the East African Court of Justice to nullify the Constitutional Amendment Act 2018, which paved way for scrapping the presidential age limit.

In his petition before the EAC court of Justice, Mabirizi argues that the actions of the Parliament, Executive and the Judiciary in processing, pursuing and upholding the Constitutional Amendment Act 2018 are unlawful.

He particularly faults Parliament from scrapping the age limit law without consulting Ugandans as provided for by the constitution.

He also contends that parliament passed the bill, which eventually led to the Constitutional Amendment Act 2018 illegally since MPs were bribed with Shillings 29 million each.

Mabirizi also faults the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga for her decision to suspend some members of parliament from the house especially those who were opposed to the bill without giving clear reasons.

By doing so, Mabirizi says the affected legislators didn’t participate fully in the discussions leading to the scrapping of the age limit.

He also faults the speakers for sending the Bill to Executive well knowing that it had errors such an invalid certificate of compliance.

Mabirizi faults the executive led by President Yoweri Museveni for assenting to the Bill without verifying that its conceptualization was marred with several irregularities like violence.

It is on these grounds that he wants the East African Court of Justice to declare all the actions by the three arms of government illegal, saying they contravene the provisions of democracy and rule of law in the East African Community treaty.

He has also launched a fundraising drive to cater for his bills and facilitate his travel to the court sitting in Tanzania.

Mabirizi asks those interested in support to send money on his numbers 0701881231 and 0779869880.

Mabirizi’s decision to run to the East African Court of Justice comes a few weeks after the Supreme Court upheld a judgment of the Constitutional Court, saying the law was validly passed.

Four of the five member panel of the Constitutional Court judges said the constitutional amendment bill no 2 of 2018, which pave for the removal of the age limits from the constitution was passed within the law.

They included the Deputy Chief Justices, Alfonse Owiny Dollo, Cheborion Barishaki, Elizabeth Musoke and Remmy Kasule.  Justice Kenneth Kakuru disagreed with the rest of the judges, arguing that Parliament erred in law and facts when it failed to consult citizens.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, Mabirizi together with Uganda Law Society and six opposition MPs petitioned the Supreme Court.  However, the Supreme Court Judges upheld the constitutional court judgment in a verdict of 4-3.

Those who upheld the decision included the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, Apio Aweri, Stella Arach Amoko and Jotham Tumwesigye.

Justices Lillian Tibatemwa, Paul Mugamba and Eldard Mwanguhya disagreed with Constitutional Court verdict, saying there valid certificate of compliance accompanying the Bill.

They also noted that there was violence at parliament and battering of legislators, which was uncalled for.

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