Amending the Constitution amounts to a coup, judges tell Attorney General

Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana (Right) with the Solicitor General Francis Atoke at Mbale High Court: NET PHOTO

The panel of five justices hearing the petition against the lifting of the age limit by Parliament; including Justice Elizabeth Musoke, Justice Remmy Kasule, Justice Kenneth Kakuru, Justice Cheborion Barishaki and led by Deputy Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo, on Thursday afternoon, tasked the deputy AG to explain the purposes of the  Constitutional review commissions  set up at the expense of the tax -payers money  if the Constitution can be amended as a matter of someone becoming “wise “.

Justice kakuru told Rukuntana that all the issues that he is submitting before court in defence of the constitutional amendments were adjudicated upon in 2000 by the Supreme Court which held that “Constitutional amendments can actually  amount to  a coup-detat”.

Justice Kakuru later on put it before Rukuntana that Parliament elected itself for another term of 2 years from 2021-2023.

The judges were responding to Mr Rukutana’s argument  that the Constitutional amendments represented the will of the people through the representatives they elected to  Parliament.

During a heated presentation, Rukuntana informed court that MPs acted  wisely in amending the Constitution and extend their tenure of office from 5 -7 years having consulted all the concerned stake holders.

A team of 18 state attorneys led by the Deputy  Attorney General  Rukuntana together with the Solicitor General Francis Atoke had earlier on Thursday morning  asked court  to dismiss the five petitions filed against the lifting of the Age Limit by Parliament.

Rukutana told the Constituional Court sitting in Mbale that the petitions lack merit and none of the petitioners  has demonstrated how he/she has suffered  any damages as  a result of   amending Article (102) b of the Constitution.

In his opening remarks to court , the AG maintained that Parliament acted within the law and prescribed procedures to duly amend the Constitution.

Rukuntana  also lauded the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga for having  acted within the law during the entire process of conceptualization and actualization of the Bill, he also praised President Museveni, who he says legally assented to the law.

He has further defended government as having acted legally in doing  what it took to facilitate the process of this Consitutional amendment .

Court summoned the Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze Bakireke to appear on Tuesday next week for cross-examination by the Attorney General on her affidavit regarding the security personel brutality during the debating of the age – limit bill in parliament to which she claims she was assaulted .

While applying for summons against Nambooze, the Director of Civil litigation Christine Kahwa warned that Nambooze should come with her medical record spanning over eight years.



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