NEWS

5 judges appointed to hear age limit petition

Deputy Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo will lead the bench of five justices to hear the constitutional petition in Mbale: NET PHOTO

The Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo has appointed justices Remmy Kasule, Elizabeth Musoke , Kenneth Kakuru and Cheborion Barishaki, to hear a petition challenging the newly enacted age limit law which will be heard in Mbale.

Justice Owiny-Dollo, who is also the lead judge, set the hearing dates for April 4 to April 9.

Upon instructions from Justice Owiny Dollo last Tuesday three petitioners have consolidated their petitions into one amidst protests over the venue that was decided.

Lawyers including Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago protested the decision to have the hearings held in Mabale, however Justice Owiny -Dollo maintained that there was nothing unlawful or unconstitutional for the court to sit in Mbale to preside over a petition.

The petitioners are; the Uganda Law Society, six opposition MPs and a lawyer, Mr Male Mabirizi.

Following the constitutional amendment, now anybody aged above 18 can contest for presidency, a prized position previously ring-fenced for persons above 35 years but below 75 years old.

The Act also extended the tenure of the current Parliament and the local government councils from five to seven years.

The tenure of the President was also expanded from five to seven years but this will first be subjected to a referendum.

The petitioners say the implication of the amendment will see the Electoral Commission holding elections in 2021 and 2023, which move they say is unconstitutional and expensive to the country.

Leader of Opposition in Parliament Winnie Kizza, together with other MPs have challenged the manner and circumstances under which the law was passed: NET PHOTO

Likewise, six opposition MPs led by the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Ms Winfred Kiiza, are equally challenging the scrapping of the age limit clause from the Constitution.

Core to their petition is that they will adduce evidence at the hearing to show that the events and process leading to and the actual enactment of the purported Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2017 were inconsistent with the Constitution.

The aggrieved MPs are; Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), Jonathan Odur (Erute County), Mubarak Munyagwa (Kawempe South), Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) and Ibrahim Ssemujju (Kira Municipality).

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