City lawyer, Kassim Male Mabirizi has dragged the Ugandan government to the East African court of justice over the age limit.
The Supreme Court last month in a 4:3 majority judgment dismissed a challenge by three parties who had challenged the constitutional court ruling that had upheld age limit clauses from the constitution by parliament.
In his petition, Mabirizi says the several actions, directives and decisions of all the three organs of government including parliament, executive and judiciary in conceptualizing, processing, pursuing and upholding of the age limit amendments was an infringement on the provisions of the East African Community treaty.
“The actions of curtailing and undermining Uganda citizens’ participation in their constitutional amendment process through preventing the applicant(Mabirizi) access to parliament’s gallery, and failure to take all reasonable steps in the circumstances to ensure public participation of all Ugandans in the Constitutional amendment process was a violation of their rights,”Mabirizi says in his petition.
“Using the police and the military to disperse meetings organized by members of parliament and other political players to enhance public participation of citizens was a violation of their rights.”
The lawyer saying amending the constitution through violence or threatened violence undermined the integrity of parliament, allowed the defence forces participate in partisan politics and also derogated MPs’ fundamental rights against torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.
President Museveni on December 27, 2017 signed the Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 2 2017, commonly known as the Age Limit bill which had been passed by parliament on December 20 into law.
According to Mabirizi, assenting the bill by the president contravened the law.
“Assenting to the bill by the president on strength of an invalid certificate of compliance and in absence of proof that 14 sitting days were separated between the 2nd and 3rd readings contravened and undermined the fundamental and operational principles of the community which include good governance including adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability, transparency and the maintenance of universally accepted standards of human rights,”Mabirizi says.
The lawyer also argues that the action and process of reaching at a decision of upholding the age limit amendments which had resulted from an illegal process was in contravention of the provisions of the law.
“The actions and decision of Uganda Constitutional and Supreme Courts contravene and undermine the fundamental and operational principles of the community which include good governance including adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability, transparency, social justice, equal opportunities, gender equality, as well as the recognition, promotion and the maintenance of universally accepted standards of human rights.”