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I am immune to prosecution – Kadaga

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga addresses journalists at the Live Chat on parliament on Monday.

Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has said she did not appear before the Constitutional Court to explain her role in the passing of the controversial Age Limit Bill because she is immune to prosecution.

“They [prosecution lawyers] did not know I am immune from prosecution. Does the President go to court? Why should the Speaker go to court?” Ms Kadaga said in relation to last month’s demand by prosecution lawyers that she appears before the judges hearing the petition on the passing of the Constitution Amendment Bill in Mbale.

But the Speaker explained that the lawyers showed they lacked knowledge about her privileges.

She was responding to the live tweet chat with journalists at Parliament on Monday.

Section 25 of the Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act, 1955 states: “Neither the Speaker nor any officer of Parliament shall be subject to the jurisdiction of any court in respect of the exercise of any power conferred on or vested in the Speaker or that officer by or under this Act.”

The speaker added that Parliament should not be judged on the basis of what happened during the passing of the age limit Bill.

“I don’t think anyone can judge us based on one incident yet we have done so much work for the people,” Ms Kadaga said.

She added that what happened under her watch could have happened even if she was not the one chairing the House.

The Constitutional Court presided over by Deputy Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo is next month expected to deliver its ruling on the matter.

Ms Kadaga also said the controversial Marriage and Divorce Bill is returning to the floor before the conclusion of the second session.

“Marriage and Divorce Bill will soon return on the Order Paper. It is my hope that we shall conclude it this Session,” she said.

The Bill advocated for by the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) and gender affiliated organizations, was first tabled on the floor of Parliament in December 2009.

It mainly provided for recognition of forms of marriages in Uganda, recognition of cohabitation and sharing of property, dissolution of marriage and rights of parties and marriage rights and duties.

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