By: Babirye Sania
Justice Stellah Amoko of the supreme court has dismissed the consolidated appeal and confirmed the decision of the constitutional court sitting in Mbale that ruled that the age limit bill was constitutionally passed. While delivering her judgment,she has explained that the Bill did not make a charge on the Consolidation fund because the said 29 million shillings that were paid to each Member of Parliament for consultation was already put aside by the parliamentary commission to run its activities, ruled that the speaker of parliament had a right to Amend the order paper and include the Bill hence she did not smuggle it in as it had been alleged by appellants and further also ruled that there was no proof from the appellants that members of the public were denied access to parliamentary gallery during the reading and tabling of the Bill in Parliament.
Still in the supreme Justice Eldard Mwangusya has ruled that the process of debating and passing the bill was null and void, but added that although some of the issues raised by the appellants were valued, however, they would not warrant an annulment of the age limit law. According to him the absence of a valid certificate of compliance from the speaker to accompany the bill means there was no Valid assent to the Bill into Law by President Museveni because there was nothing to ascend to. He says that issues like the constitutional failure to summon key witnesses like speaker Kadaga are valid but were not fatal enough to all the amendment of the Act.
Mwangushya ruled that lack of public participation and consultation also defeated the faith in which the Bill was brought since consultations were curtailed by security. He also declared that the rights of Mps and other members of the public who would have wanted to follow and participate in the debate was infringed upon when the doors of the gallery were closed.