Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has lashed out at President Museveni for intimidating judges in a bid to lure them to make decisions in his favour.
Museveni early this week blasted judges for focusing on non- issues and leaving out substance while delivering the age limit ruling at the Constitutional Court sitting in Mbale last week.
“Unfortunately, our judges in Uganda spend more time on form and not substance, on procedure and not substance. My freedom fighter’s sense of justice, in this matter (the age limit ruling) focuses more on the convenience of 7 years rather than 5 years,”Museveni said in a statement released on Monday.
“In the end, however, the judges are not the ones in charge of the country. If the NRM MPs follow my guidelines and bond closely with the people, through wealth and job creation, we can, together with the people, make the necessary Constitutional reforms, judges or no judges.”
Addressing a news conference at his office in Kampala on Wednesday, Lukwago said Museveni’s words are meant to intimidate judges while delivering judgments in issues where he is concerned.
“That statement was meant blackmail the court and the entire judiciary. The Chief Justice should in turn release a statement against the insinuations by Museveni ,”Lukwago said.
“Why didn’t he(Museveni) request to join the petition(age limit) as either a party or a friend of court so that his issues could be heard? He had that right but never exercised it.”
Museveni in his statement advised that the Constitution should “facilitate the modernization of Uganda and the economic and political integration of Africa” for the survival of the people of Africa as free people, not just the theatre of democracy of form without addressing substance.
“The Judges should have taken into consideration the recent L.C.1 and Women Councils and Committees elections which gave massive victory to the NRM, soon after the age limit and the seven years’ debate. This was more or less a referendum. There was open participation by the millions,” he said.
A group of six Members of Parliament have since declared intensions to appeal against the ruling of the Constitutional Court that upheld the amendment of article 102(b) to lift the minimum and maximum age limit from the constitution.
The Kampala Lord Mayor however warned the judiciary against falling prey to what he termed as President Museveni’s threats towards them.
“This(appeal) is the biggest test to the judiciary and is the only hope for Ugandans to salvage the nation from the mess it is in stamped by both the cabinet and parliament,”Lukwago warned.
“Don’t heed to intimidation and blackmail.”