The Constitutional Court in Kampala has thrown out a case that challenged the legality of the People Power Movement without being registered as a political organization.
In 2019, Aden Rutaro Ntare,a concerned citizen ran to court to sue Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, and former FDC president Kizza Besigye for heading what he termed as unregistered political organizations.
Rutaro said that Kyagulanyi runs a self-styled political organization with the three names of ‘People Power Movement’, ‘People Power-Uganda’ and ‘People Power’, interchangeably to give a platform to candidates to stand for political offices
The petitioner also accused Dr. Besigye of establishing, running and mobilising political activities with national structures under ‘People’s Government’, which he says is a reserve of only registered political parties and that this is in contravention of the provisions of the Constitution.
However, on Tuesday, a panel of four justices of the Constitutional Court including Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera, Kenneth Kakuru, Catherine Bamugemereire, and Irene Mulyagonja ruled that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain such a petition and consequently threw it out.
“The petitioner didn’t bring his grievances to this court under Article 50 of the Constitution. Neither did he refer to it. Nonetheless, I am of the view this is a matter that would have been best disposed of under Article 50 of the Constitution and in such cases the dispute is filed in the High Court, not this court,” Justice Mulyagonja said in the lead judgment.
The judge consequently dismissed the petition but made no order to costs.
Consequently, three other justices including Richard Buteera, Kenneth Kakuru, and Catherine Bamugemereire reasoned with Mulyagonja and threw out the petition.
However, Justice Christopher Mandrama in a minority judgment ruled that it was illegal for Kyagulanyi to operate the People Power movement and carry out political activities that included sponsoring candidates for political offices since it was not fully registered.