Justice Barishaki Chebrion

Justice Barishaki Chebrion of the one of the five Judges in age limit cases has nullified the elevation of MPs tenure in office from five to seven years saying lifting MPs term in office violated article 77 of the constitution.

In his ruling, Justice Chebrion said the extension of the term of Parliament from five to seven years is null and void, “Extension was selfish and goes against the principle of good governance,”

“Electorate voted MPs for five years in office, hoping to access them, they had to convinced and given time to decide about the details private member’s bill,” he said in his ruling.

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He however endorsed the recently enacted age limit act saying it has both minimum and maximum restrictions on age requirement for people standing for t political offices.

Delivering his judgement, Justice Chebrion said the amendment providing for lifting of the age limit did not breach any provisions of the constitution agitating that parliament followed due constitutional process.

He disregarded all argument that were filed by the petitioners that, amendment of presidential age limits violated people’s sovereignty, “There was a bill, there was debate, and there was consultation,” he added.

“In enacting Articles 3 and 7 of the amendment act, parliament acted legally and I hold that the two articles are constitutional, reintroduction of Presidential term limits into the constitution is good and should be entrenched,” he ruled.

He ruled that MP Raphael Magyezi’s Bill did not violate article 93 of the Constitution on Certificate of Financial Implications, and the Public Finance Management Act.

he ruled that, basing on cross examination, permanent secretary for ministry of finance Keith Muhakanizi revealed the two certificate of Financial Implications the were obtained by Igara East MP Raphael Magyezi and Bukooli County North MP Gaster Mugoya did not cause negative impact on national treasury nor private fund.

On suspension of MPs from parliament, justice Chebrion ruled that the speaker acted within her mandate to suspend the disruptive MPs, without suspending them, internal control of the assembly would be impotent.

“Though the Speaker was not to blame for ordering eviction of MPs from parliament, the intervening officers of special forces command (SFC) used excessive force and acted in inhuman and unwarranted manner.

In December last year Parliament passed age limit bill lifting presidential age limit that was capped at 75 years, giving a leeway for President Yoweri Museveni who is currently 73 years to stand for presidency in 2021 and on the same day they also voted to extend their term in office from five to seven years.

Due to dissatisfaction with what transpired in Parliament, six opposition legislators led by Winnie Kiiza, Uganda Law Society, and Male Mabirizi among other concerned citizens petitioned the Constitutional Court challenging the ‘Age Limit Act’.

They argued that the process of enacting the bill was marred with violence, assault of legislators, storming of Special Forces Command (SFC) in Parliamentary chambers and violations of human rights which among others contradicts with Parliamentary rules and procedures.

The five judges Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, Remmy Kasule, Elizabeth Musoke, Chebrion Barishaki and Kenneth Kakuru.