The retired Supreme Court Judge Prof. George Kanyeihamba has asked the Constitutional court to drop his petition challenging President Yoweri Museveni and the National Resistance Movement-NRM’s move to scrap bail for capital offenders.
Kanyeihamba sued President Museveni, Attorney General and the NRM party saying they wanted to change the law so everybody is ‘guilty until you prove that you are innocent’ yet the law saying everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
During the pre-hearing of the case on Monday, Justice Kanyeihamba told court that he intends to ask for an adjournment when it comes up for full hearing before the panel of five justices until when the government brings back the threats to scrap off bail.
“When we come back for the hearing, we shall ask the court to drop the petition and adjourn its hearing indefinitely because there is nothing to arbitrate on since we have learnt that the respondents have withdrawn their threats,” Justice Kanyeihamba told court.
Kanyeihamba said if the President wants to remove the right to bail, he should first withdraw Uganda from all international treaties that guarantee bail globally,” he said adding “that the removal of bail is a violation of human rights of capital offenders.”
The petition further stated that, although the Attorney General and the Government of Uganda have a right to limit fundamental rights and freedoms, it can only be done in line with Article 43 of the 1995 Constitution and International laws.
“Article 23 of the Constitution of Uganda guarantees and prescribes the Right of any person charged with a criminal offence to apply for bail, which the court can honor or deny,” reads in part the court document.
However the AG filed an affidavit of Ms Lucy Mbonye Nakyobe, the Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet, who asked the court to dismiss the case against the sitting President since he is protected under the law.
She added that the petition is misconceived and it purports to challenge public statements of opinion and recommendations on proposed legislative reforms of the law governing bail, which have not been passed into law.
Court set June 16 for hearing of the case before a panel of five justices who include; Catherine Bamugemeire, Stephen Musota, Irene Mulyagonja, Muzamiru Kibeedi and Monica Mugenyi.