Supreme court stays EC Chairman,DPP stay in office

By Sania Babirye

The supreme Court has stayed the 19th March Constitutional ruling, which declared as unconstitutional the appointment of a substantive judicial officer to an executive or constitutional office, unless the said officer resigns from the Judiciary, on the ground that it contravenes the doctrine of separation of powers.

As a result, the constitutional court declared that the Director of Public Prosecutions Justice Jane Frances Abodo and the chairman of the Electoral commission Justice Simon Byabakama appointments were illegal since they did not resign as judges first .

However, five justices of the Constitutional Court led chief justice Alifonse Owinyi Dollo ruled that the said appeal has issues of constitutional interpretation that must be addressed and stayed the ruling until the appeal is heard and determined.

In 2016, the late Lawyer Bob Kasango petitioned the Constitutional Court, after he challenged criminal charges that had been instituted upon him by the then DPP Mike Chibita without having resigned as a judge First.

Kasango had noted that the DPP was acting in conflict and in disregard of his judicial oath he took upon becoming a judge and asked the constitutional court to declare his appointment as DPP with out having resigned as a judge illegal.

The Constitutional Court also ordered the Judicial Service Commission to always make sure that any judge who is appointed on another job first resigns.

According to the constitutional ruling, any appointment of any judicial officer without resigning first is invalid since such actions contravenes a number of articles enshrined under the constitution especially with regarding the judicial officer’s mandate and oath taken.

However, the Attorney General being dissatisfied, appealed the said rulling in the supreme Court.