Court

Age Limit Case Pushed to Next Week

The five constitutional court justices led by Deputy Chief justice Aliphonse Owinyi Dollo have adjourned the hearing of the case challenging the amendment of the Age limit law to Tuesday next week.

Other justices on the panel include Elizabeth Musoke, Remmy Kasule, Cheborion Barishaki and Kenneth Kakuru.

On Thursday evening the Deputy Attorney Mwesigwa Rukutana and the solicitor General Francis Atoke together with a team of 18 advocates from Attorney General’s chambers started defending these amendments.

The defence team argues that the amendment process was lawful and that most Ugandans agree with it.

The adjournment followed a request by the Deputy Attorney General. In the next sitting, he is expected to make more submissions to explain to court why the Presidential Age limit should not be declared null and void.

During the Thursday hearing, Rukutana had a heated exchange with the justices on the panel who had tasked him to explain why government financially facilitated a private members bill, which is contrary to the law.

The justices wondered why Government picked interest in a private member’s bill to the extent of withdrawing 13 billion shillings from the consolidated fund which was shared amongst MPs for purposes of consulting their electorate on the same.

However, earlier on Rukutana had explained to court that the Magyezi bill did not put a charge on the consolidated fund having been examined by ministry of Finance which issued a certificate indicating that it was budget neutral.

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On top of Attorney General’s further submissions in the next sitting, the Mukono Municipality MP Hon Betty Nambooze will appear alongside ten other government officials for cross examination.

In this consolidated constitutional petition — Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka, Uganda Law Society, six Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs), including the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Winfred Kizza petitioned constitutional court challenging the amendment of the constitution as well as the removal of the presidential term limits.

Among other issues being challenged is the allegations that the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament for having smuggled into the constitution (Amendment) Bill provisions, such as extension of the tenure of the President, MPs and local government councils and also restoration of presidential term limits.

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