The East African Court of Justice will start hearing the case challenging the constitutionality of the recently changed presidential term and age limits.
In a notice by the court’s registrar Yufnalis N. Okubo, the hearing of the case is set for March 18, 2020, at 9:30 am.
“Take notice that the above has been fixed for hearing on Wednesday the 18th day of March 2020 from 9:30 am in open court,” the notice reads.
Early this week, the court declined to stop the case.
Mabirizi last year filed an appeal at the East African Court of Justice seeking a declaration that the process of passing and assenting to the Age Limit Act was null and void because it did not comply with Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community.
The Supreme Court early this year 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.
Mabirizi challenged the court saying 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 said 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 argued that amending the constitution through violence or threatened violence undermined the integrity of parliament, allowed the defence forces to participate in partisan politics and also derogated MPs’ fundamental rights against torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.
Mabirizi also averred that assenting to the bill by the president on strength of an invalid certificate of compliance was an illegality.
He says the proceeds contravened Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community.
The Ugandan government in response told the East African Court for Justice in Arusha that it does not have jurisdiction to hear the matter because the issues raised by Mabirizi had been duly handled and resolved by competent local courts in Uganda and thus there is no need revisit them.