By Sania Babirye
The Supreme Court has set the 15th and 16th of January 2019 to hear an appeal filed in respect of a Mable Constitutional court ruling that upheld Constitutional amendments which lifted the cap from the minimum and maximum presidential age – limit.
This is after today the parties involved in this appeal held a conferencing hearing before a panel of 7 justices headed by the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe and presented to court the outcome of a meeting they had yesterday at the Ministry of Justice boardroom.
The Attorney General William Byaruhanga who is the head of the bar has addressed court that in yesterday ‘s meeting parties agreed to consolidate the 3 appeals into one because they all rise from the same judgement and address similar issues, that parties agreed on 8 issues to be determined by court and that lastly parties opted to file written submissions following schedules given by court as opposed to oral submissions which consume time.
Among the agreed issues is one whether the 4 Constutional court justices who were part of the panel that heard the petition at Mbale committed procedural errors , whether they erred in law and fact to hold that the removal of the presidential and LCV officials age -limit was not inconsistent with the Constitution .
Others are whether the justices erred in law and fact to hold that the entire process of conceptualizing, debating and enactment of the age-limit law didnot contravene the constitution and whether or not the presence of violence in and outside Parliamnet during the debating of the Age -limit bill didnot contravene the constitution.
The Chief Justice has ordered that parties should file and serve each other with their written submissions of not more than 50 pages by not later than 31st /December/2018 .
After which ; the Justice Katureebe ordered that each party wil have an honour to adress and highlight its submissions on the 15th and 16th /January 2018 following which court will retire to write and deliver its judgement on notice .
However as it has become a norm , one of the appellants lawyer Male Mabirizi had rejected one of the justices on the panel; Richard Buteera but the Cheif Justice Katureebe was quick to a dress his fears saying justice Buteera is sitting on today’s panel for pre-trial purposes but Justice Eldard Mwangusya who is currently out of the country is the one to sit on the quorum to hear the actual appeal .
Mabirizi also raised an application to summon the speaker of Parliamnet Rebecca Kadaga for cross-examination during the hearing but justice Katureebe informed him that there was no quorum to hear his application.
In court the appellants including Uganda Law society , 6 opposition MPs and Male Mabirizi and the respondent ; AG William Byaruhanga together with his deputy Mwesigwa Rukuntana were present.