Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi has embarked on a fundraising drive to secure funds to sustain a series of legal battles he filed against the Ugandan government in the East African Court of Justice.
Mabirizi filed a case in May this year, challenging the amendment of the constitution to lift the cap on the presidential age. He said that the process for the amendment was characterized by violence and deployment of military police in and outside Parliament, among other unconstitutional misdeeds.
According to the file, Mabirizi argued that the amendments were done in total disregard of the constitution, the acts of parliament and the rules of procedure of Parliament.
The Arusha based court set October 29 – October 30, 2019, as the days for the pretrial hearing of the presidential age limit case filed by Mabirizi. The pre-trial will be heard by a panel of five justices led by Principal Judge Monica Mugenyi.
He now wants the court to halt the 2021 presidential elections until his reference is heard, and as well declare that the actions and decisions of conceptualizing, processing, pursuing and upholding the age limit amendment were unconstitutional and infringed on the treaty that established the East African Community.
Mabirizi who is using the eastern route for his road trip to Arusha told journalists in Jinja yesterday that he is making stopovers in the different districts and seeking radio talk shows to mobilize well-wishers for both financial and moral support for his petition.
He says that the process is costly in terms of evidence collection and transport, and the sustainability of his petition is dependent on public support.
Mabirizi further lashed out at critics who have branded him comical arguing that the process that he started is people-oriented and aimed at protecting the constitution which should be embraced by all. He, however, adds that his quest for justice will continue irrespective of the critics.
Early this year, three judges of the Supreme Court upheld a decision of the Constitutional Court that sustained the amendment of a clause that capped the presidential age at 75 years. To many Ugandans, the amendment was to purposely give a mandate to president Yoweri Museveni to contest again for the presidency, after the current term.