KAMPALA – Supreme Court Judge Faith Mwondha accused Chief Justice Bart Katureebe of overlooking her when constituting the panel to hear the age limit appeal filed by lawyer Male Mabirizi, PML Daily has learnt.
The Supreme Court is composed of 11 justices but only 7 were on the panel that in the majority decision of 4:3 upheld the Constitutional Court ruling that removed the presidential age limit from the Constitution. The panel was composed of Chief Justice Katureebe, Stella Arach Amoko, Jotham Tumwesigye, Rubby Opio-Aweri, Prof. Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza, Eldard Mwangusya and Paul Mugamba. Missing from the panel were justices Augustine Nshimye, Esther Kisaakye, Faith Mwondha and Richard Buteera.
However, Justice Mwondha’s absence from the panel rubbed her the wrong way. In a letter dated September 7, 2018, she alleged that her exclusion from hearing the age limit appeal was deliberately done by the Chief Justice whom he said does not like her for allegedly being a non-performer.
“It is apparent that I have been deliberately excluded from not only the appeal in issue but even other activities/workings of the Supreme Court despite my seniority leaving me in abeyance and turning me into a spectator,” Justice Mwondha’s letter to the Chief Justice reads in part.
“By so doing, I have to strongly state now that your lordship have consistently and deliberately depicted me as a non-performer for your own reasons unknown to me. Right from the time I was appointed and joined the Supreme Court, you have completely ignored my seniority and experience on the Bench in the Judiciary and elsewhere and you have turned your legitimate power as Chief Justice into an oppression weapon against me which is unfortunate in my view,” she says.
“In conclusion and for the avoidance of doubt, let me restate that the reason as to why I am not participating in the appeal in issue is not that I am out of the country. I am thankful to God Almighty that I have put the record straight bearing in mind that the truth shall set me free-John 8:32,” she adds.
Justice Katureebe was not immediately available to respond to the allegations.
Justice Mwondha was in 2001 was appointed to the High Court of Uganda. In 2005, she was appointed Inspector General of Government (IGG), where she served for four years.