Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has led Judges of the Supreme Court Uganda to the Pre-trial Conference of the appeal against the Constitutional Court Judgement of Mbale 2018.
4 to 1 Judges of the Court of Appeal agreed with Parliament of Uganda in scrapping off the 75 year age limit for the President of Uganda in the Constitution. The loosing parties appealed to the Supreme Court challenging the verdict.
At th Supreme Court in Kampala, Lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi and other opposition politicians were in jovial mood as they faced Lawyers from the Attorney General Chambers.
Unlike the Mbale Age Limit Petition which was led by Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana, the appeal of the ruling will be led by the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga.
Judges use pre-trial conferences with lawyers for many purposes. One type of conference gaining popularity is the status conference (sometimes called the early conference). This conference—held after all initial pleadings have been filed—helps the judge manage the case. Judges use it to establish a time frame for concluding all pre-trial activities and may set a tentative trial date at this time.
The Government side had applied to do away with Uganda Law Society appeal on grounds that it was filed late. However they accepted the appeal to be heard on merit because of the importance of the appeal.
Justice Bart Katureebe gave 14 days to the petitioners to consolidate everything they have and be filed by 20th November. He gave the Attorney General 21 days to respond from the petitioners.
Katureebe set 15th and 16tth January 2019 as dates when hearing of the petition will start.
The mood in the court was charcterised by laughter on both sides as they argued.
Lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi the star of the petition says
“The gist of appeal is that the petitioners were not given a fair hearing. The ruling was full of falsehoods and contradictions. You can not say that the security raided Parliament, mistreated MPs but at the same time say the process was lawful,” Mabirizi told reporters outside the Supreme court.
The Debate on the Presidential Age limit was the most acrimonious process as opposition battled NRM government for selfishly tampering with the 1995 Constitution.
Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago said the NRM must be challeneged otherwise the Constitution is serving one man, President Yoweri Museveni.
The Fighting in Parliament sent chilling feelings to the rest of the World as Uganda Military removed Members from the house.
The Petition was the last hope forces against amending the Constitution. Their hopes were dumped when 4 Judges agreed with Parliament.
Will the Supreme Court Petition revive the bitter memories?