Mabirizi hopes to win as court gives verdict on Museveni age

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Museveni

The Supreme Court is today delivering a verdict to determine whether President Museveni will be eligible or not to run for presidency again in 2021 elections.

President Museveni will be above 75 years in 2021.

One of the appellants and city lawyer Male Mabirizi hopes to win after challenging the decision of the Constitutional Court that upheld the amendment of the Constitution by Parliament to remove the 75-year upper age limit on the presidency.

Article 102(b), which was amended by 317 Members of Parliament (MPs)in the House about two years ago amidst stiff resistance from the minority Opposition MPs and moderates from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party following fist-fights on the floor of Parliament, barred anyone aged above 75 years or below 35 from contesting for presidency.

“I think I am going to win this case, unless otherwise,” Mabirizi told press at court Thursday morning.

If the Supreme Court overturns the Constitutional Court decision, Museveni will not be eligible to contest for presidency despite his NRM top organ and MPs having endorsed him as the party’s sole candidate.

The justices who are presiding over the case include; Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, Stella Arach Amoko, Eldad Mwangusya, Prof Lillian Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza, Jotham Tumwesigye, Rubby Opio Aweri, and Paul Mugamba.

They will determine eight key issues on; whether the Constitutional Court erred on the application of the basic structure doctrine, whether the majority justices of the Constitutional Court erred in holding that the entire process of conceptualising, debating and enactment of Constitution (Amendment) Act 2018 that removed the presidential age limit from the Constitution did not contravene the 1995 Constitution and Rules of Procedure of Parliament.

They will also determine whether majority justices of the Constitutional Court erred when they held that the violence/scuffle inside and outside Parliament during the enactment of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2018 did not contravene the Constitution.

They will analyse whether the Justices of the Constitutional Court erred in law when they applied the substantiality test in determining the petition or whether the learned Justices of the Constitutional Court erred when they held that the removal of the age limit for the President was not inconsistent with the Constitution.

They will further determine whether the Constitutional Court was wrong in holding that the president elected in 2016 is not liable to vacate office upon attaining the age of 75 and whether the justices of the Constitutional Court derogated the appellants’ right to a fair hearing, un-judiciously exercised their discretion and committed the alleged procedural irregularities.

Analysis

“Part of the reasons why we appealed is because the evidence we presented in Mbale wasn’t rightly assessed but also because we represent people who feel this amendment is likely to drag Uganda to the old war days,” said Kira Municipality MP, Semujju Nganda.

Bernard Sabiti, a Political Analyst, says opposition still has a lot to do and that is why they have to keep running to courts so that they continue to expose the dictatorship but not changing the status quo because our judiciary is not yet at that level.

“Looking at what is coming up, the opposition should learn that it is a big mistake to always consider court as a fullback position. The real fight should be fought at the ballot box,” Sabiti noted.

Peter Walubiri, Constitutional Lawyer, says this is the only chance that Uganda has before “we move into having a life Presidency scenario”.

Among those already in court are; DP President Norbert Mao and President of the People’s Development Party, Abed Bwanika.

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