Opposition political party, Forum for Democratic Change has announced a countrywide uprising over what they temred as a ‘disappointing’ outcome of the age limit petition.
The Constitutional Court panel of five judges sitting in Mbale on Thursday in a 4:1 upheld the amendment of article 102(b) to lift the minimum and maximum age limit from the constitution.
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, prompting a group of five people to petition the Constitutional court against the decision.
Addressing journalists during a weekly press conference on Monday, FDC party president Patrick Amuriat Oboi said it was disappointing that court decided to rule against the will of the people by upholding the age limit amendment.
“It is extremely disappointing that after bringing out facts that political decisions have caused many problems for this country, the judges found it fit to maintain the status quo in regards the age limit,”Amuriat said.
“I watched the judges’ body language and it indicated there was an invisible hand or voice in their judgement.”
The court also ruled that a sitting president can continue to be in power if his term has not yet expired despite clocking 75 years of age.
Justice Remmy Kasule in his judgment said that there is no backing in the constitution that states that when a president clocks 75 years of age, he must vacate office adding that ages comes to different bodies differently.
“The Odoki Committee itself didn’t find the AgeLimit of the President as one of the critical pillars of the constitution to be entrenched. Accordingly, I find that the Amendment of article 102(b) doesn’t contravene the constitution,” Justice Kasule ruled.
“If we have fixed the minimum age, we don’t need to consider the maximum, the electorates will decide.”
Amuriat, commonly referred to as POA told journalists that since the only safeguard to the peaceful handover of power was removed, it was high time they went to the court of public opinion to settle the matter.
“Only a negligible number of people want to force themselves into the throats of Ugandans. We are going to mobilise the public to rise up against this injustice,” he said.
Asked to clear the air on what he exactly meant, the FDC president said the next few months are going to be for action countrywide in show of discontent over the age limit ruling by the Constitutional Court.
“If you think it is business as usual, you are wrong. It is business unusual. We are going to mobilise the public for an uprising because we are protected by the constitution,” POA warned.
By announcing an uprising, the opposition political party will go face to face with police who are expected to stop their activities in what seems to be the first hard task for police under the leadership of Martin Okoth Ochola.
Previously, such activities by the opposition have been thwarted by police led by now incarcerated Gen.Kale Kayihura.