The Constitutional Court in Kampala has thrown out a case in which 11 MPs challenged the ruling National Resistance Movement party’s decision to declare President Museveni as a sole candidate for the 2021 presidential election.
The MPs including Theodore Ssekikubo, Barnabas Tinkasiimiire, Mbwatekamwa Gaffa, Monicah Amonding, John Baptist Nambeshe, Patrick Nsamba, Samuel Lyomoki, Sylvia Akello, Susan Amero, James Acidri and Moses Adome Bildard asked court to declare the party’s Central Executive Committee resolution null and void.
On Thursday in a majority decision, three justices including the acting Chief justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, Cheborion Barishaki and Christopher Madrama upheld the sole candidature resolution and struck out the petition.
“The petitioners have not challenged any provision of the Constitution of the respondent(NRM) which was registered according to the law and which is deemed to comply with the law under the Political Parties and Organisation Act as envisaged in article 71, 72, and 73 of the Constitution of Uganda,” the judges ruled.
“The very essence of democracy is that the petitioners who subscribe to their political party constitution should use it or have it enforced.”
The three justices therefore reasoned that the Constitutional Court does not have jurisdiction to hear their petition.
“In the premises therefore, I would strike out the petition for want of the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court. In the circumstances where the petitioners are happy with the party constitution of the respondent but are at the same time trying to challenge the respondent’s actions as being in contravention of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, the action is frivolous and vexatious, ”Justice Christopher Madrama ruled.
He ordered the 11 MPs to jointly pay costs to the ruling NRM party for dragging it before a wrong court as they would have taken their complaints to the High Court which is empowered with jurisdiction to enforce rights.
Last year, CEC, the ruling NRM party’s top organ granted Museveni a life presidency card by unanimously endorsing him as party leader and flag bearer for the upcoming elections in 2021 and beyond.
The decision was made at the end of the five-day retreat of the ruling party’s top organ sitting at the Chobe Safari Lodge in Nwoya district on Tuesday after a motion moved by the government chief whip, Ruth Nankabirwa was supported by all members.