By Ronald Kabuye
After two weeks of vigorous legal argument and battle at constitutional court sitting in Mbale between the petitioners against the age limit act that saw the the presidential age limit lifted from 75 years, presidential term limits restored and members of parliament term extended from five to seven years, the deputy Chief Justice Alphonso Owiny Dollo has cautioned the public and more so the lawyers and petitioners to restrain themselves from commenting about the matter in any fora before the panel of five justices deliver their verdict which has been set on notice thereafter they can critcise, comment or appeal their judgement.
Justice Owiny also thanked lawyers for the professionalism exhibited especially by desisting from politicizing the petition and the court users for the discipline too exhibited.
He also gave confidence to the country that they will come up with a judgement which everyone will respect though some might disagree with adding that all in all they the five justices are Ugandans, with families and people and all they are doing they do it for uganda, the children, grand children and future generations.
Justice Remmy Kasule emphasized that need of all Ugandans to began appreciating constitutionalism, regardless of status saying that constitution is the foundation of every day life and welfare.
Justice Kenneth Kakuru appealed to everyone to be civil to each other saying the petition gave a lot of learning experience to the nation at large which everyone needs to sit and digest.
“we have a price to pay as all of us but we also have a lot to gain from this petition.
I want to make it clear that I had no ill feeling against anyone, that’s my templates in case I offended anyone am sorry” said Justice Kakuru
On her part lady Justice Elizabeth Musoke wondered where some sectors in the media derive the idea that the judgement was already written before apologizing incase it’s them that created the impression.
She also prayed to God to give them (justices) wisdom and guidance as they write their judgement.
In the same way Justice Chaborion Barishaki appreciated the press for the way they have covered the case which he said has made people appreciate the work of court adding that they (justices) are on the spot and they will live up to the oath they took.
He also conceded that he first feared the case after reading through the file and then what appeared in the media that he will not give a fair judgement since he is a brother to one of the NRM MP who voted in favor of the bill.
Meanwhile the petitioners through their lawyers and Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka who represented himself asked court to nullify the entire act incase court finds that there were some procedures that fall short of the law while the respondents team led by deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutaana prayed that incase the same is found court should cancel only those that fall shot of law but not the act in totality.
Erias Lukwago who represented the petitioners said ” my lords Parliament, cabinet have spoken and let down people, it’s now time that the judiciary speaks, I have seen judicial activism which should be maintained.
Constitution instability leads to political instability and people are tired of blood shed.”
By Ronald Kabuye