Only a day after its decision, lawyer Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka has rushed to the Supreme Court to challenge the age limit judgment by the Constitutional Court.
The Constitutional Court sitting in Mbale on Thursday evening upheld the amendment of article 102(b) to lift the minimum and maximum age limit from the constitution.
In his appeal filed on Friday, the youthful lawyer who represented himself during the petition says he is not satisfied with the decision of the panel of judges to uphold the amendment despite a number of irregularities.
“The judges failed to give the petitioner (Mabirizi) ample time to present his case when they extremely and unnecessarily interfered with his submissions and limited his scope of coverage thereby derogating his right to fair hearing,”Mabirizi argues.
“The court derogated the petitioner’s right to fir hearing , treated him in an inhuman and degrading manner and discriminated against him in a manner not demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society.”
The lawyer also contends that the court failed to make a final decision on the fate of the two affidavits for the Secretary to the Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi and Gen.David Muhoozi, the Chief of Defence Forces for the UPDF.
In his appeal, Mabirizi lists 80 issues that he says the panel of five judges failed to address well and he says these will form basis of his appeal.
“These are 80 mistakes that were made by the judges and need to be rectified by the Supreme Court. The court should nullify the act because its passing was marred by violence and violation of constitutional rights.”
During their judgment, the justices unanimously agreed that there was chaos in parliament during the amendment of article 102(b) to lift the minimum and maximum age limit from the constitution.
“The army would not have come if MPs had acted properly. They invited it on themselves by creating an environment that precipitated the army’s involvement,” said Justice Kakuru.
Justice Remmy Kasule added, “A number of MPs conducted themselves without the necessary expected restraint they have themselves to blame for the scuffle at parliament.”
Mabirizi however explained that the manner in which the Justices of the Constitutional Court handled the petition was similar to an election petition when they acknowledged flows including chaos during the age limit debate but went on uphold the amendment of the constitution.
He faulted the panel of judges for upholding the amendment despite finding out that parliament did not allow participation of their voters.
“The court failed to declare the entire act invalid after making a finding that the pre-conditions of a presidential assent were not followed,”Mabirizi adds.
Parliament in December passed the controversial age limit bill to lift the cap on the presidential and district chairperson age limit from the constitution after a total of 317 MPs voted in favour of the motion whereas 97 were against it.
A group of five people including the Uganda Law Society (ULS), lawyer Male Kiwanuka Mabirizi, six opposition MPs led by the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Winnie Kiiza, Prosper Businge, Dr. Abed Bwanika and Jonathan Abaine Buregyeya would later petition the Constitutional Court challenging the passing of the age limit bill into law saying it contravened the constitution.
On Thursday,Justices Alphonse Owiny Dollo, Cheborion Barishaki, Elizabeth Musoke and Remmy Kasule upheld the amendment whereas Justice Kenneth Kakuru did not agree with the decision of parliament.