The tabling of the amendment bills to extend age limit of various government officials was on Thursday postponed at the last minute to Tuesday next week.
ChimpReports leant today of the silently planned and concluded sets of amendments to alter chapters 5, stuff http://clbattery.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints/class.wpcom-json-api-update-media-endpoint.php 6, http://conforms.com/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce/includes/class-wc-geo-ip.php 7 and 8 of the Constitution. We have also established it will be a Private Member’s Bill.
The mover of the motion whose names we are withholding is an independent Member of Parliament from Central Uganda but leaning to the National Resistance Movement party. It will be seconded by another NRM member from Northern Uganda.
On Tuesday the matter will be directed to the Committee of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Unlike the usual two to three months that committees spend on bills, the amendment bill is according to sources planned for two weeks and brought to the floor of Parliament for second reading and possibly passed within a month.
Chapter 8 (Judiciary)
The proposed amendment which ChimpReports has the copy is seeking to revise the article 144 of the Constitution that contains the tenure of office of judicial officers.
The age limit of the Chief Justice and all other justices of the Supreme Court is going to be extended from 70 to 75 years if the Bill passes through as expected since it is already having the blessing and the backing of the powers from “above”.
“The article 144 (1) (a) should be amended or rewritten as ‘The Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice, a justice of the Supreme Court and a justice Court of Appeal may retire after attaining the age of seventy years and shall vacate his or her office,” part of the amendment reads.
The retirement age for Principal Judges and Judges of the High Court is going to be extended from 65 to 70 years according to the proposed amendments. Meanwhile all other judicial officers shall be required to retire after aging 60 years.
The appointment of Chief Justice and his or her Deputy, Supreme Court Judges, Principal Judge and High Court judges which is done by the President on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission has not been touched in the new amendments though there is always room for further amendment during the debate at Parliament.
The amendment to extend the retirement age of judges is coming only few years when the nation was rocked with controversy over reappointment of former Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki when he had clocked past 70 years.
The case went to Court in 2013 and it was declared that President Yoweri Museveni’s appointment of Odoki was illegal.
The position virtually stayed vacant for two years with the Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma in the acting capacity up to March last year when Justice Bart Katureebe was appointed as the Chief Justice.
Chapter 5 (Electoral Commission)
Meanwhile, Article 60 of the Constitution is supposed to be reviewed to amend the tenure of the Electoral Commission which consists of Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and five other members from the restricted two terms to infinite.
The current article 60 (3) says the members of the commission to be appointed by the President and approved by Parliament ‘shall hold office for seven years, and may be renewed for one more term only.’
The term of the current Commission headed by Eng. BadruKiggundu expires in November this year and new names are reportedly being vetted already.
ChimpReports is following this development closely.