Age Limit: Supreme Court upholds Constitutional Court decision

In a majority judgement of 4:3, the Supreme Court has thrown out an appeal that sought to quash the Constitutional Court’s ruling that upheld the removal of the presidential age limits from the Constitution.

The age limits were removed in a Constitutional Amendment bill that was controversially passed in December 2017, forcing MPs, Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Mucipality), Winnie Kiiza (Kasese Woman), Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (Kira Municipality), Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) and Mubarak Munyagwa (Kawempe South) to challenge the amendment.

They were joined by lawyer Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka and Uganda Law Society in petitioning the Constitutional Court to overturn the amendment.

The court however on July 26, 2018 in a majority decision of 4:1 allowed the removal of the presidential age limit and unanimously declared the extension of the term of members of parliament and local government as unconstitutional.

In a judgement to the subsequent appeal delivered today at the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Bart Katureebe and Justices Stellah Arach Amoko, Jotham Tumwesigye and Rubby Opio Aweri ruled against the appeal while Justices Prof Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza, Elidad Mwangusha and Paul Mugamba agreed with the appellants that the amendment bill was not passed in accordance with the law and therefore null and void.

The majority verdict therefore guarantees Museveni’s ambition to extend his presidency beyond 2021 since Article 102(b) that would have stopped him is now effectively out of the Constitution.