Erias Lukwago, one of the lawyers representing the petitioners challenging Constitutional Amendment No.2 of 2017, has said he would not have taken the job if the Constitutional Court was still headed by former Deputy Chief Justice Stephen Kavuma.
Lukwago said Saturday morning that he agreed to litigate this highly billed petition, with optimism that the new head of the court, Deputy Chief Justice Owiny Dollo will be fairer than his predecessor.
Justice Owiny Dollo is currently deliberating together with four constitutional court judges, on the submissions made by the petitioners and the government lawyers led by Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana, during the hearing of the petition, which closed last Thursday.
The petitioners want the court to nullify the so-called age limit law, which was passed and signed last year, on grounds that some elements of it contravene several provisions of the constitution and that the process through which it was passed was marred by illegalities and human rights violations.
Counsel Lukwago, while appearing on the Capital Gang talk show this morning, said if former DCJ Stephen Kavuma was still in charge of the Constitutional Court, he would not have bothered getting on the team.
“During Kavuma’s time there are several petitions that I filed and until he retired, they remained in his cabinet,” he said.
But with the Age Limit Petition, Lukwago said, he was happy that that the new head of the constitutional court at least gave them chance to be heard.
He added that this being Justice Dollo’s first major case, he and his new team will be under public trial.
“We will wait to see how they will decide. Owiny Dollo’s Court is on trial,” he said.
The Kampala Lord Mayor was responding to critics on the show, that that by accepting to go to court, the petitioners, most of whom are opposition politicians are legitimizing President Yoweri Museveni and his NRM Government, which they have previously argued are in power illegally.
Lukwago said he was willing to explore all avenues available to protect the national constitution.
He was backed by the Opposition Chief Whip Hon Semujju Nganda, who said sitting back and doing nothing to challenge the regime is not wise.
“For me, I get satisfied that I have made a contribution. We may not remove Museveni today or tomorrow; Libyans were stuck with Gadhafi for 43 years, but time came and he went.”
Nganda said pessimists who are unhappy with opposition going to court, should suggest the best way of doing it.
“I don’t want to sit home and fold my hands in order not to legitimize Museveni. Dictators are always very happy when they discourage you from doing anything.”