The Uganda Law Society has petitioned Constitutional Court challenging the newly enacted age-limit law that lifted the presidential age -limit cap from 75.
Through their president Francis Gimara, renowned law proffessor, Fredrick Ssempebwa and the Agago North MP prof. Ogenga Latigo, Uganda Law Society says it’s aggrieved with the whole process of conceptualising, tabling, consultation , debating and passing of the age-limit bill in parliament.
“The process did not put into consideration civil liberties of Ugandans,”the group says in their petition.
The controversial age limit bill was on December 20,2017 passed into law after 317 MPs voted in favour whereas only 92 disagreed.
This had been preceded by a number of occurrences including a fight on the floor of parliament between legislators and security agents believed to be from the elite Special Forces Command.
According to the group, these highlights including security forces storming parliament to assault and arrest opposition MPs and the partisan behaviour of security agencies on top of failure to comprehensively consult citizens on the matter make the bill which was passed into law null and void.
Parliament on December 20 also voted to extend the tenure of office for MPs and local governments from five to seven years.
The group however say their petition also challenges the extension of the tenure of the current parliament for two more years as being illegal.
“It’s a breach of contract since all MPs and councillors faithfully took oath in May 2016 to serve their electorate for only 5 years until May 2021.”
The group of lawyers say the Constitutional court should declare that it was unconstitutional for parliament to pass a private members bill whose effect is to have payments made from the consolidated fund to facilitate the extended tenure of office for MPs and Local government councillors .
They also want court to declare that having limitations to holding public offices is the core of the spirit of constitutionalism in a free and democratic society adding that passing the age limit bill into law eradicated this principle.