KAMPALA – The long awaited judgment in the consolidated presidential age limit petitions is to be delivered in a matter of hours as Ugandans eagerly wait for the Constitutional Court verdict.
The Court, headed by the Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, will deliver the verdict of the panel of the five justices in Mbale, eastern Uganda after two months of waiting.
On April 19, the justices concluded the hearing official the petitions in Mbale and reserved the judgment on notice.
The Constitution Amendment Bill No.2 of 2017 emanated from a private member’s bill tabled by Igara West MP, Raphael Magyezi. Its enactment removed the upper age cap of 75 years and the lower age cap of 35 years for any citizen to contest for the highest office in the land.
It also extended the term of office parliament, and Local Governments from five to seven years and reintroduced presidential term limits that had been removed in 2005.
But the amendments were challenged by seven petitioners, whose petitions were consolidated at the time of the hearing. They include Male Kiwanuka Mabiriizi, Winnie Kiiza, the leader of opposition in parliament, Uganda Law Society, opposition chief whip Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, and four other legislators.
The petitioners demanded that the Constitutional court overturns the controversial amendment on the argument that it was passed out of a violation of the Constitution, the supreme law of the land.
The petitioners questioned an allocation of Shs 13 billion which was shared among members of parliament to conduct consultations on the bill. Parliamentary guidelines stipulate that a private members bill can only be accepted if it does not have any financial implication on the consolidated fund.