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EACJ throws out Mabirizi’s anti age limit removal case

By Sania Babirye

The East African court of justice has dismissed an appeal filed by city lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi challenging the constitutional amendment act 2018 which lifted the presidential age limit of 75 Years .

The court has held that the process leading to the enactment of the constitutional amendment was time barred but found the impugned supreme court decision to have been filed within time.

The regional court also ruled that that the supreme court had jurisdiction to hear the case and ruled that the supreme court did not violate any treaty on the account of judicial ethics or in terms of its judicial process and result.

Mabirizi has now been ordered to pay costs to the suit.

The said appeal was heard by five justices including Uganda’s Justice Monica Mugenyi who was appointed by president Museveni as court of appeal judge last year.

In May 2019, four out of the seven justices of the supreme Court led by the chief justice Bart Katureebe, Stella Arachi Amoko, Rubby Opio Aweri and Jotham Tumwesigye upheld the constutional court ruling that declared the amendment constitutional while justice .

These ruled that despite several breaches that took place during the tabling , debating and passing the constitutional amendment, they did not have any substantive effect on the whole enactment of the 2018 act while Justice Eldad Mwangusya, Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza and Paul Mugambe dismissed the petition and declared the amendment null and void.

Mabirizi being dissatisfied with the supreme court decision petitioned the EACJ seeking orders to declare that all amendment were null and void because the actions of the three arms of government contravened the provisions of democracy and rule of law in the East African Community treaty.

He claimed that the actions of Parliament, Executive and the Judiciary in processing, pursuing and upholding the Constitutional Amendment Act 2018 were unlawful and illegal because members of parliament never held any consultative meetings with Uganda’s as provided for by the constitution.

Mabirizi further stated that members of parliament were bribed with 29 million shillings each to pass the constitutional amendment through claiming that the said funds were meant for Nationwide consultation which they never carried out.

Other illegalities in the passing of the the amendment cited by Mabirizi included the suspension of members of parliament who were opposed to the amendment by the speaker of parliament, the speaker Sending the Bill to the Executive well knowing that it had errors such an invalid certificate of compliance and violence that marred the process of passing the amendment.