Mbabazi Petition: Parties Worry Over Unimplemented Supreme Court Recommendations

NETPIL Project Coordinator, Anne Tendo speaking at a media engagement.

Two years later, the Network of Public Interest Lawyers (NETPIL) has expressed concern over the pending implementation of the Supreme Court Judgment recommendations in the Presidential election petition of Amama Mbabazi Versus Yoweri Museveni of 2016.

The Supreme Court in 2016 made ten recommendations in the judgment which among others appealed to the Executive to alter the time for filing and determination of the election petitions, donation during election period.

It also recommended a review in the time for holding fresh elections in case a presidential election is annulled, the use of technology, the nature of evidence, unequal use of State owned media, the late enactment of relevant legislation, involvement of public officers in political campaigns.

This Sunday 26, August, 2018 will mark two years since the Supreme Court judgment made the recommendations to be implemented by the Executive and the Legislature.

The Attorney General was thus given two years to report back to the Supreme Court the measures that have been taken to implement the recommendations.

At a media engagement at Makerere University, NETPIL Project Coordinator, Anne Tendo said that as Friends of Court that joined in the case as a way of amici curiae have since followed up with the different government agencies ever since the ruling but they have never received a positive welcome to date.

“We have faced frustration with the different government agencies that we have approached in our effort to follow up on how far they have reached with implementing the recommendations,” Tendo said.

“We understand that little has been so far done in line with the implementation process. We are cognizant of the fact that there were some constitutional amendments especially in respect to Article 102 (b),” she said.

She added that NETPIL is aware that the Executive has made numerous promises that more legislations are to be considered through a constitutional Review Commission but these remain pending to this day.

Tendo said that they have credible information that the Supreme Court has recently written to the Attorney General reminding him of the impending expiry of two year period but there was no response to that effect.

According to Tendo, failure to implement the recommendations before the 2021 general elections will render Court decisions and judgment futile and will be bedrock to the rule of law in the country.

“The impact of not implementing the Supreme Court decision is that this will amount to an abuse of the rule of law in the country, lead to stagnation in Constitution development and will portray an image that the rights of citizens don’t matter,” Tendo said.

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