NRM MPs immediately burst into wild celebration after Supreme Court on Thursday evening upheld the Constitutional Court decision on Age limit.
Majority of the supreme court Justices (4) including Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, Justice Jotham Tumwesigye, Justice Stella Arach Amoko, and Justice Apio Aweri dismissed the appeal challenging the scrapping of the 75-year president age limit from the constitution.
Parliament in December 2017 passed the age limit bill to lift the cap on the presidential and district chairperson age limit from the constitution after a total of 317 MPs voted in favor of the motion whereas 97 were against it. Constitutional Court squashed a consolidated petition challenging the passing of the Bill before the petitioners went to the Supreme Court.
In her judgment, Justice Stella Arach Amoko upheld the Constitutional Court decision indicating that the process leading to the conceptualization of the Age Limit Bill, which eventually led to the scrapping of the age limit was very clear and lawful.
She, therefore, dismissed the appeal by Male Mabirizi, six opposition legislators and Uganda Law Society with each party bearing its own costs.
However, it was not a unanimous decision as three of the seven Justices contended that the amendment was unlawful.
For example, in his judgment, Eldad Mwangusya noted that the process leading to the scrapping of the presidential age limit was flawed.
He said there was no valid certificate of compliance for the bill before it was sent to the president to be assented to.
“There was no valid certificate of compliance. This means that there was nothing valid to assent to by the President”, said Mwangusya.
He also explained that during consultations, some of the voters asked their legislators to terms limits and voted against the bill.
Justice Mwanguhya also noted that some of the legislators were assaulted badly and thrown out of parliament during debate of the bill, which was uncalled for.
Justice Mwanguhya however, declined to pronounce himself on the allegations that MPs were bribed to support the bill, saying it is the role of the Auditor General to do so.
Each MP received Shillings 29M as facilitation to consult voters on the bill.
However, several opposition legislators declined to take the money and returned it to the treasury of parliament, saying they are facilitated to do their work.
He ordered each party to meet the costs of its suit. Justice Apio Aweri also upheld the decision of the constitutional court Judgment and dismissed the application