The Deputy Chief Justice who is heading the hearing of the the Anti-Age Limit case has lashed out at those who are concerned with the case being heard in Mbale.
In his closing remarks of today’s session, the Deputy Chief Justice defended the decision emphasizing That Mbale is part of Uganda and therefore, there is no problem has the session there.
This follows complaints by some of the petitioners and some concerned Ugandans for the Mbale venue especially in terms of costs as far as transport and accommodation is concerned.
Giving an example where the Speaker uses her power to shift Parliament to Serena Conference Center for the reading of the budget and state of the nation address, Justice Owiny said the Chief Justice has the same powers.
“The constitution empowers the Chief Justice to choose any venue where a court session can take place and this case he chose Mbale and I see no furry about it,” he said.
Justice Owiny promised to deliver justice and warned the counsel, media and the general public against undermining the process and warned to deal with anybody who does so.
“We swore two sets of oath of allegiance; to uphold, protect and preserve the constitution and to do justice to all manners of people and we shall do exactly that as far as this petition is concerned,” he promised.
He appealed to lawyers, journalists and the public to approach court for clarification warning to throw out anybody who seeks to criticize the process unfairly.
“This court belongs to the public and so it is up you to follow the rules of court so that you do not find yourself on the wrong side of the law,” he warned.
Hearing of the Constitutional Court petition challenging the amendment of Article 102(b) to remove presidential age limit started at High Court in Mbale today.
A panel of five judges led by the Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo is hearing the petitions at Mbale High Court. The other justices on the bench include; Remmy Kasule, Elizabeth Musoke, Cheborion Barishaki and Kenneth Kakuru.
The hearing commenced with submissions of the petitioners including Uganda Law Society and Kampala Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago, who represents a section of Members of Parliament challenging the amendment.
On December 20, 2017, Parliament passed the Constitutional Amendment Act, 2017 effectively removing presidential age limits provided for under Article 102(b) of the constitution.
In the same amendment, parliament removed age limits for local government leaders, restored presidential term limits which had been removed in September 2005 and extended the term of office of the president and parliament from five to seven years.
Erias Lukwago and others went to court challenging the decisions on various grounds one of which is the way the law was passed when some MPs were beaten and evicted out of Parliament by security operatives.