Age Limit Ruling: Mabirizi Tenders Record Backing his Supreme Court Appeal


Lawyer Male Mabirizi delivered a pile of record to support his appeal to the Supreme court. (New Vision photo)
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Lawyer Male Mabiri has Monday tendered documents (record of appeal) to the Supreme Court to support his appeal against the ruling made weeks ago by the Constitutional Court on last year’s constitutional amendments.

Mabirizi was part of the consolidated petition filed earlier this year to challenge the legality of the amendments which among others repealed the Presidential age limit.

On July 27, a day after the Constitutional Court delivered its ruling which upheld the removal of the Presidential age limits, Mabirizi filed an appeal at the Supreme Court saying it was wrong for the court to uphold the amendment given that the process was marred by a number of irregularities.

He further states that in its hearing of the petition and delivering the judgment, court fell short of fairness, truth and was contradictory.

“The gist of my appeal is that the petitioners were not given a fair hearing. In addition, 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 at the time.

In his appeal, Mabirizi has raised a total of 84 issues on which he challenges sections of the ruling by the Constitutional Court.

On Monday, seventeen days since the ruling, the little-known lawyer until the hearing of the petition earlier this year, was driven to the Supreme Court in a mini truck loaded with documents to support his legal challenge.

He brought with him a record pile of 154 books adding up to over 30,000 pages which he later presented to Supreme Court Deputy Registrar Godfrey Angualia Opefeni.

Mabirizi challenges the fact that he was not awarded professional court fees since he had no lawyer during the proceedings at the High Court in Mbale, yet he suffered various inconveniences and incurred costs.

He is seeking Shs 20 million in compensation for the expenses he incurred.

He also says that the Justices of the Constitutional Court errored in law by failing to consider that the Electoral Commission did not hold a referendum as required before scrapping the Presidential age limit from the Constitution.

Majority of the Justices of the Constitutional court had ruled that a referendum was not mandatory since the amendments were passed by MPs who are by law elected to legislate on behalf of Ugandans.

“Under our laws, a President ascents to a law in a whole, not in part. The Constitutional court is saying that there was need for a referendum for MPs to extend their term, but that there was no need for a referendum for the age limit,” Mabirizi told reporters outside Supreme court on Monday.

“The section regarding the MPs tenure was in the same Act. So, I am saying that without a referendum, that Act could not pass,” he said.

At the beginning of this month, six Members of Parliament said they also intend to appeal against the age limit judgment delivered by the Constitutional Court last week. The MPs include Mubarak Munyagwa, Gerald Karuhanga, Jonathan Odur, Allan Ssewanyana, Ibrahim Ssemuju Nganda and Winnie Kiiza.

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