Age Limit petition: Mabirizi charms court on Day 2
Hearing of petitions challenging the Constitution Amendment Act No 2 of 2017 entered the second day at the High Court buildings in Mbale with petitioners’ lawyers showing cause why the amendment should be overturned.
Lawyers James Byamukama (appearing for Prosper Busingye) and Erias Lukwago (for Karuhanga and five others) told court that the extension of the term of Parliament is in contravention of articles 77(4), 91, 79(1), and Rule 93(2) of the Rules of Procedure
“Extension of term of Parliament came as a by the way without a bill to Parliament out of excitement cannot be sustained,” Lukwago argued.
Lukwago further told court that in passing the amendment, Members of Parliament acted selfishly because it was benefiting them.
The lawyers also opposed the extension of the term of Local Councils 3 and 5 from 5 to 7 years on grounds that it offends Articles 176(3) and 184(6) of the constitution.
Petitioner Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka who is also his own lawyer in the petition argued against the amendment reasoning that restoration of the presidential term limits was a direct amendment of Article 260 which requires a referendum, and not mere Parliamentary vote, thus making the Act incurably defective and unconstitutional.
The controversial lawyer appeared well prepared and cited several authorities as he argued out his case.
He occasionally threw court in bouts of laughter the most captivating being when Deputy Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo asked him what he would choose between term limits and age limits.
Mabirizi first said that he would choose both and when Dollo insisted that he should choose one, Mabirizi responded, “No, that is propaganda” he later said he would choose age limits.
Mabirizi also reasoned that since almost the entire Constitution has been changed by the amendments, there is now have a new constitution.
At the conclusion of his submissions, Mabirizi received an acknowledgement from Dollo who thanked him for arguing out the case well.
Hearing resumes on Wednesday at 9:00am