Uganda Law Society lawyer Wandera Ogalo has faulted the Constitutional Court sitting in Mbale for abdicating its role of “breathing new life” to the constitution that whose provisions had been breached by parliament when it amended article 102(b) to remove the age limit.
Giving his submissions during the age limit appeal at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Ogalo said that everything done before, during and after the age limit debate was a deliberate move by parliament to breach the constitution for its own selfish interests but the Constitutional Court failed to detect it.
“There was a breach of the constitution by parliament and the only remedy was nullifying the product of the fundamental human right violation by the Constitutional Court but failed on its mandate,”Ogalo said.
“The breaches were intended because there was a purpose they were supposed to achieve and therefore life ought to have been breathed into the Constitution by the Constitutional Court in Mbale but it failed.”
He explained that expulsion of some MPs and stopping them from participating in the debate and subsequent voting on the matter was a well calculated move without any evidence that can support such an abuse of human rights.
He added that the army invasion of parliament was never called for but rather as a calculated move, it had to happen in order to serve a particular effect.
“The manner in which it was done was meant to intimidate and achieve enactment of bill. This court should therefore decide this appeal in the affirmative because parliament breached the constitution as it tried to achieve its goal of enacting the age limit bill.”
The court has however been adjourned to tomorrow to hear submissions from the Attorney General defending the Constitutional Court’s action of upholding the passing of the age limit bill by parliament .
Last year, the Constitutional Court sitting in Mbale in a 4:1 decision , upheld the scrapping of the presidential age limit clauses from the Constitution by Parliament but struck down the extension of the term of the current parliament and Local Councils by two years as had been passed by parliament.
A panel of 7 judges including the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe,Paul Mugamba,Stella Amoko Arach, Ruby Apio Aweri, Jotham Tumwesigye, Eldad Mwanguhya and Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza is hearing the appeal by a group of three parties including the Uganda Law Society, lawyer Male Mabirizi and 6 opposition MPs led by Winnie Kiiza challenging the decision of the Constitutional Court.