Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Constitutional Court in Kampala nullified sections 168(1) (c) and 168(1) d) of the Penal Code Act which criminalized being rogue and vagabond.
In 2018, lawyer Francis Tumwesigye Ateenyi dragged the Attorney General to court noting that the two sections were vague and allowed police to arbitrarily arrest someone without any offence committed but on suspicion of being idle and disorderly.
On Friday, five justices of the Court of Appeal including Fredrick Egonda-Ntende, Elizabeth Musoke, Christopher Madrama, Monica Mugenyi, and Christopher Gashirabake ruled that the two sections contravene the Constitution which emphasizes the freedom to move to any place. “.. the impugned offences contravene the right to freely move throughout Uganda and justification of such contravention as saved by article 43 of the constitution would have to be justified by the respondent.
It is hereby held that sections 168(1) (c) and 168(1) d) of the Penal Code Act are void for inconsistency with the constitution,” Justice EgondaNtende said in the lead judgment. The justices said the two offences cannot be allowed to stand since they are vague, ambiguous and too broad that they attempt to deprive individuals of their liberty.