By Andrew Irumba
The parties in the presidential age limit appeal on Wed.agreed on eight issues for determination and the Supreme Court fixed the hearing on January 15 and 16 2019.
The appellants are challenging the Constitutional Court’s July judgment that upheld the removal of the presidential age limit from the Constitution, sitting in Mbale.
Both the appellants and the government legal teams agreed on the eight issues in a meeting at the Ministry of Justice on Tuesday.
The Attorney General, Mr William Byaruhanga told court on Wed.that they agreed to consolidate the three appeals as they all arise from the same judgment with similar issues.
“We all agreed on eight issues that are to be determined by this court and we shall file written submissions,” Mr Byaruhanga told the judges.
After his submission, the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe ordered the parties to file and serve each other their respective written submissions not later than December 31, 2018.
“Any submissions that do not comply with the directives given today should be rejected and should not be brought in court,” he ordered the court registrar.
However at the beginning of the pre-hearing session, one of the appellants, Mr Male Mabirizi, had rejected one of the justices on the panel, Mr Richard Buteera. However the Chief Justice was quick to allay his fears, saying Justice Buteera was only sitting in for Justice Eldard Mwangusya who is currently out of the country.
Mr Mabirizi also applied to the court to summon the Speaker of Parliament Ms Rebecca Kadaga for cross-examination during the hearing but Chief Justice Katureebe informed him that there was no quorum to hear his application.
The consolidated appeal comprises appeals by the Uganda Law Society, six Opposition Members of Parliament and a private lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi, among others.
In July the Constitutional Court upheld the removal of the 75-year limit on the presidency from the Constitution which now allows President Museveni aged 73 to rule for life.
What Are The Eight Agreed Issues?
- Basic structure: Whether the majority justices of the Constitutional Court misdirected themselves on the application of basic structure doctrine.
- The process: Whether the learned majority justices of the Constitutional Court erred in law and in fact in holding that the entire process of conceptualising, consulting, debating and enactment of Constitution (Amendment) Act 2018 did not in any respect contravene nor was it inconsistent with the 1995 Constitution.
- Violence: Whether the Constitutional Court majority justices erred in law and fact when they held that the violence/scuffle inside and outside Parliament during the enactment of Constitution (Amendment) Act 2018 did not in any respect contravene nor was it inconsistent with the Constitution.
- The substantiality test: Whether the learned majority justices of the Constitutional Court erred when they applied the substantiality test in determining the petition.
- Age Limit: Whether the learned majority justices of the Constitutional Court misdirected themselves in holding that the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2018 on the removal of the age limit for the President and Local Council V offices was not inconsistent with the Constitution.
- Vacation of office: Whether the learned justices of the Constitutional Court erred in law and fact in holding that the President elected in 2016 is not liable to vacate office on attaining the age of 75.
- Procedural irregularities in court: (a) Whether the learned justices of the Constitutional Court Committed the alleged procedural irregularities. (b) If so, what is the effect on the decision of the court?
- Remedies: What are the remedies available to the appellants?