Mukono municipality Member of Parliament Hon. Betty Nambooze Bakireke has responded to former presidential aspirant Pastor Abed Bwanika over the Supreme Court comment made while appearing on Buganda Kingdome owned CBS FM Parliament Yaffe Program.
Bwanika, made it categorically clear that the opposition lawmakers and their lawyers shouldn’t have gone to court in the fight for the protection of article 102b of the Uganda Constitution.
He claims that political issues can never be taken and get fully settled by a clique of people appointed the person being accused.
The People’s Democratic Party president noted that the team that filed a case and appealed against the constitutional court that sat in Mable town last was just wasting time, something that don’t go well with Mukono’s iron lady who was also on the same talkshow.
“So they excepted the supreme court appointed and paid by president Museveni to favour them, impossible! The time I had Chief Justice Burt Katureebe saying that he is ill and lacks even capacity to read the final judgment, I lost hope because I know that’s how dictators trap good people.” Bwanika said adding that once the dictator appoints you in a certain office, he/she immediately employs people to spy on you.
He further implored opposition lawmakers and lawyers to learn from their mistakes and prioritize taking political affairs back to the electorates once an institution like parliament disappoints them but not back to Museveni indirectly.
Bwanika who also attended Thursday’s Supreme Court session in Kololo is quoted telling the media that it was his first time to attend such sessions, “I am here because this is an important judgment to Ugandans”, but wherever he made the U-turn from the next day is one thing that has left Ugandans wondering.
In response, Nambooze challenged Bwanika to style up and mind his diction while appearing in public since it shall one day land him in trouble.
She added that its ironic to see elders like Bwanika who would be joining their opposition fellows in designing the way forward for the opposition now that the Age limit appeal has also been pocketed by state officials, instead of backbiting and parading self-importance feelings.
Nambooze said that though the ruling was not fair to the appellants, but the opposition didn’t come out of the courtroom empty handed since they managed to challenge clauses like the extension of office tenure from 5-7 years, among others.
She noted that Bwanika is busy telling people that courts are full of officials facilitated and paid by president Museveni as if he is the one who gave the people designing and printing National IDs jobs.
“The 2021 election you claiming to be warming up for is organized and managed by officials appointed by president Museveni, now making matters worse, even the National Identity card system you are telling people to register with is also controlled by the same person controlling the court, they you said can’t be fair.” Nambooze frankly told off Abed Bwanika to think twice before swinging into unresearched propaganda.
Age Limit Case Background
Last year, the Constitutional Court sitting in Mbale in a 4:1 decision, upheld the scrapping of the presidential age limit clauses from the Constitution by Parliament prompting a group of three parties including the Uganda Law Society, lawyer Male Mabirizi and 6 opposition MPs led by Winnie Kiiza to challenge the decision before the Supreme Court.
It should be noted that before the constitutional court passed the first ruling on the matter, Bwanika is one of the people that has earlier filed a complain seeking a National referendum on the Age limit bill ahead of the passing of the highly anticipated bill however this plea was blocked by the attorney general who said that it would be a waste of time yet Justice and constitutional affairs ministry was busy reviewing the entire constitutional something that would also involve the introduction of electoral reforms.
On Thursday 18th April 2019, In a judgment ratio of 4:3 judges ruled that majority justices of the Constitutional Court that sat in Mbale town never erred when they ruled that the entire process of conceptualizing, debating and enactment of Constitution (Amendment) Act 2018 that removed the presidential age limit from the Constitution.
“The decision of the constitutional court is upheld and this appeal fails,” said Justice Eldad Mwanguya who read the final verdict on behalf of the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe who was unwell.
The verdict by the Supreme Court meant that President Museveni, who will be above 75 years will now be eligible to stand for election in 2021.
Justices Stella Amoko Arachi, Ruby Opio Aweri, Jotham Tumwesigye and Bart Katureebe upheld the decision of the constitutional court whereas justices Eldad Mwanguhya, Paul Mugamba and Lilian Tibatemwa disagreed with the lower court.