MP Raphael Magezi’s Age Limit Constitutional Amendment Bill is facing yet another huddle, a legal one this time.
The bill, which faced so much resistance that paralyzed parliament for days, was at last tabled on the floor today and forwarded to the Legal Affairs Committee in the absence of most of the opposition MPs, much to the relief of its supporters.
But now, A 2014 out-of-mind Constitutional Court Petition is being revived, which could throw more spikes on the path of the apparently time-sensitive Age Limit amendment.
The Constitutional Petition Number 41 was filed before the Constitutional Court three years ago, by University lecturer Benjamin Alipanga.
In the petition, Alipanga was challenging Yoweri Museveni’s quest to run for President at a time was closing in on the age limit of 75.
In his petition, he sought among others, the court’s interpretation of 23 different articles in the constitution, which included Article 102.
He also asked for a permanent injunction against parliament “amending or in any way tampering or trying to tamper” with any of the said articles.
This petition has never been disposed of by the Constitutional Court.
Alipanga, through his lawyers of Muwema and Company Advocates today wrote to the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, expressing dismay that her parliament was attempting to amend some of these articles with the case still pending in court.
Parliament as a government body is represented by the Attorney General in court cases.
Alipanga argues that in the 2014 petition, the AG submitted to the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court to interpret the constitution and adjudicate the dispute.
He added that the AG cannot at the same time and undermine that very court process.
Alipanga thus warned Parliament that debating the matter still before the Constitutional Court would be in contempt of the court and also offending Rule 64 of the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure.
He said would now seek the intervention of the Constitutional Court to halt the Amendment Bill process, and also request that the head of the court fixes the matter to be handled expeditiously.