By Ronaldo N Kalangi
The five judges of the constitutional court sitting in Mbale High Court have on Thursday upheld the presidential age limit amendment which was passed by Parliament,but quashed mps’ move to extend their term of office to seven years.
Three of the four judges [Remmy Kasule, Elizabeth Musoke and Cheborion Barishaki] ruled that the presidential age limit amendment was legal and constitutional.
It was justice Kasule who delivered the final blow. He said lifting of age limit for one who stands to be president or district chairperson constituted the original Magyezi bill because framers of 1995 Constitution left it to MPs to amend the Constitution on presidential age limits without need for a referendum.
He added: “Even with the removal of age limits it is only those who can stand for Member of Parliament who can stand for office of president. That in itself is age limit.”
Justice Kenneth Kakuru, on the other hand, said the whole process was unconstitutional and declared it null and void.
All the four judges have declared extension of MPs’ tenure from 5 to 7 years as null and void.
The judges concurred that the restoration of term limits was good for the constitution.
The Constitutional Amendment was tabled by Igara West Member of Parliament Raphael Magyezi and passed by parliament in December 2017.
Uganda Law Society, six opposition MPs, One Prosper Busingye and Advocates Jonathan Abaine and Male Mabirizi, through their respective lawyers, run to court citing four major reasons why the Age limit law should be nullified.
They said parliament exceeded its mandate and unlawfully made constitutional amendments without upholding the Constitution — the supreme law of the land.
These also asked court to declare that the whole process of tabling, enactment and assenting to the law violated various provisions of the Constitution and offended the provided safeguard structures against dictatorship.
Court told the petitioners that they were free to appeal in the Supreme court.