Friday, November 27, 2020
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East African Court dismisses case challenging removal of age limit

EA- The East African Court of Justice has today dismissed with costs the consolidated cases filed by 7 opposition politicians challenging the removal of the age limit law from the Ugandan constitution.

The politicians include; Winfred Kiiza the Kasese District Woman MP, John Baptist Nambeshe the Manjiya County MP, Gerald Karuhanga the Ntungamo Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda the Kira Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze the Mukono Municipality MP, Alice Asianut Alaso the former Woman MP for Serere district and a Woman’s Rights Activist Irene Ovonji Odida.

The Panel of three Judges of the East African Court of Justice who included; Principal Judge Monica Mugenyi,  Peter Nyawello and Charles Nyachae, dismissed the matter today after two lawyers Nelson Ndeki and Don Deya representing the seven told the court that they were not willing to proceed with the case.

Lawyer Deya told the court that they were withdrawing from the case because their clients did not give them further instructions to proceed with the case and neither have they filed any evidence to the court.

As a result, the Attorney General of Uganda William Byaruhanga asked the Judges to dismiss the case on grounds that the other petitioners had still failed to meet the February 2020 deadline that was given to them to file submissions.

They added that despite the failure to meet the deadline, there is nothing that was ever filed since then to show that the politicians are still interested in the matter.

The Justices therefore dismissed the case with costs citing that the people should not be using courts to pile up cases they will not handle up to the end while using public interest as an excuse.

However, Male  Mabirizi who supported the petitioners, disagreed with the Attorney General on dismissing the cases with costs arguing that it was a matter of public interest.

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The petitioners had run to the East African Court of Justice challenging the removal of the age limit from the Ugandan constitution saying that several actions, directives and decisions of all the three organs of the government of Uganda in conceptualizing, processing and upholding the removal of the 75-year age limit were unlawful.

They argued that several of the actions infringed on some provisions of the East African Community where Uganda is a signatory.

The petitioners faulted Parliament for scrapping the age limit law without consulting Ugandans as provided for by the constitution and they added that the process leading to the amendment of the constitution was marred with irregularities such as bribery of legislators and violence in parliament.

They also faulted the executive arm of government led by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for assenting to the Bill without verifying that there was a certificate of compliance accompanying it. 

The petitioners first petitioned the Constitutional and Supreme Court in Uganda which upheld the ruling saying it had been passed within the conformity of the existing laws.

Patson Baraire Mushaija
Patson Baraire Mushaijahttps://theinformerug.com/
Patson Baraire Mushaija is a Seasoned Journalist. He has an experience of Field and Community reporting for over 20 years. He started his career at Daily Monitor in the 1990s and is known for breaking major stories that remain topical issues today like the Bwindi Massacre and Kibwetere Inferno. He also worked at New Vision before concentrating on Digital Media. He has worked as reporter and news editor for a number of Media Organisations. Baraire is a family man, practicing farmer, and public speaker, is passionate about community Journalism. He is currently a Co-Editor at the Informer Ug an Online Publication in Western Uganda. Patson is widely traveled in East and Central Africa where he has attended several media training and Election Monitoring. He is passionate about Environmental Issues and Health Reporting.

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