By Andrew Irumba
High Court judge Hon.Lady Justice Margret Ouma Oguli on Wednesday dismissed the case filed by the six Opposition MPs who were challenging the way in which speaker of Ugandan Parliament Rt.Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga suspended them from the house during the age limit bill debate.
In her ruling read by the Deputy Registrar Joy Kabagye, the judge said she lacked jurisdiction to hear the case since it’s a constitutional matter.
“Consequently this court is compelled to say that this matter is beyond its jurisdiction. In the result, I refer this matter to the Constitutional Court and each side should bear its costs,” ruled the judge.
Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago cum lawyer for the applicants said he was surprised by the ruling.
“In all the 19 years I have spent in this practice I have never seen such an incident. We have struggled in serving the respondents in this matter where some of our people have been arrested but our efforts have been turned futile. You file all the necessary affidavits and the other side is ready to respond, and then you come to court ready for hearing and such a ruling is given?” wondered Lukwago.
He however said that they would respect the trial judge’s ruling, but take exception of the way she handled the matter.
“This is the third time we are appearing before this court. The ruling is not well grounded because the matter must be laid out in the court proceedings which she has not done,” he said.
Lukwago said their next step would be a meeting with the Leader of Opposition and the petitioners to take a decision on the way forward.
The leader of opposition who double as Kasese woman MP Hon. Winnie Kiiza, who was also in court vowed to do whatever is possible ‘to liberate the constitution’.
“When you go to the Executive you are abused, when you go to parliament you are manhandled and even courts which we have been running to have also turned us down,” she observed.