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Age limit petition to be heard in Mbale, court orders

Justice Alphone Owiny-Dollo

The Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo has ordered that a petition challenging the newly enacted age-limit law that lifted the presidential Age-limit cap from 75 should be heard from Mbale on April 4, 2018.

This is after justice Dollo met with all the 3 litigants and their lawyers today and decided that the 3 petitions be consolidated into  one  to be heard in Mbale.

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

However several lawyers involved in this case  including the Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago and Wandera Ogalo have  contested the hearing  venue but Justice Dollo maintained that the Constitutional court and its view about constitutional matters is the same in respective of where it’s sitting .

He has ordered that all parties should iron out their preliminary issues and set themselves ready for hearing on the set date.

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 years to seven.

The tenure of the President was also expanded from five to seven years but this has to be first 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.

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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