High Court dismisses suspended MPs case against Kadaga

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

, Featured

The High Court civil division in Kampala has on Wednesday morning dismissed the case filed by Members of Parliament against speaker Kadaga and Attorney General over their suspension from the August house.
Six MPs including; Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, Allan Ssewanyana, Gerald Karuhanga, Jonathan Odur, Anthony Akol and Mubarak Manyangwa, who were suspended from Parliament sittings for masterminding chaos as the House debated the proposal to amend the presidential age limit sought orders from court declaring Kadaga’s acts illegal and restrain her from such behaviour in the future.

The court last week issued summons to both the Attorney General and Speaker Kadaga to appear in person as hearing of the matter was scheduled to begin before Justice Margret Oumo Oguli on Wednesday morning.

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On Wednesday, Kadaga was represented by Johnson Natuhwera whereas the MPs had Erias Lukwago and Chrysostom Katumba as their lawyers.

However, in a bizarre occasion and in amazement of the parties in the matter, the deputy court registrar Joy Kabagye on behalf of the trial judge read a ruling in which she dismissed the case before referring it to the constitutional court for interpretation.

“I dismiss this application because the court has no jurisdiction to handle the matter. I refer it to the Constituional court for interpretation,”Kabagye read the ruling on behalf of Justice Oguli.
In the ruling, Oguli quoted article 137 of the constitution that allows a case to be referred to the Constitutional court for interpretation.

Article 137 of the constitution says that “any question as to the interpretation of this Constitution shall be determined by the Court of Appeal sitting as the constitutional court.”

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It also says that when sitting as a constitutional court, the Court of Appeal shall consist of a panel of five judges.

For any ruling to be delivered, there ought to have been a hearing session from both parties involved in the matter.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the court session, the MPs lawyers led by Erias Lukwago said they could not believe what had befell them.

“I have practiced law for the last nineteen years but such a thing has never happened to me,”Lukwago told journalists.

“It is very absurd and strange that such can happen within the premise of the temple of justice where we ought to get redress.”

Lukwago said that the court decision was illegal since it was not premised in the provisions of the law that call for court proceedings before coming up with a ruling of any form.

“We have no respect for the manner in which the case was handled. We respect her as a judge but take exception of the manner in which she has handled the matter.”

The seasoned lawyer however noted that he would hold a meeting with his clients so as to forge a way forward.

One of the affected legislators, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda however noted that this was an act indicating that judges are under intimidation from some invisible hand.

“Whatever they do, we shall not give up until our matter has been heard,”Ssemujju said.

The age limit bill was on December 20, passed by parliament in the absence of the six legislators who had earlier been suspended from the house by the speaker.

President Museveni last week signed the bill into law that changes 35 and 75 as the lower and upper age limits from the constitution.

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