2 November 2018

Uganda: Age Limit Case - Government Wants Law Society Appeal Struck Out

Kampala — The Attorney General (AG) has asked the Supreme Court to reject the appeal by the Uganda Law Society (ULS), which is challenging the Constitutional Court judgment that upheld the removal of the presidential age limit from the Constitution.

The ULS appeal is one of the three others challenging the Constitutional Court judgment on the removal of presidential age limit from the Constitution.

However, the AG contends that the ULS notice of appeal was served them 13 days after the deadline and hence should be struck out.

"I know that this notice of appeal was served on the Attorney General's chambers on August 30, 2018, 13 days after the days for which it was supposed to be served on the AG as prescribed by law," the AG's application reads in part. The application is supported by the affidavit of Ms Charity Nabasa, a state attorney in the AG's chambers.

"It will be in the interest of justice if the respondent's/appellants (ULS) notice of appeal is struck out for having been served on the applicant late contrary to the rules," reads Ms Nabasa's plead to the Supreme Court.

However, ULS president Simon Peter Kinobe insisted that they filed their notice of appeal within the stipulated 60 days.

"The preliminary objection raised by the AG is not justifiable because we filed the appeal within the time prescribed by the law. So the preliminary objection raised by the AG is inconsequential and unattainable," Mr Kinobe said by telephone yesterday.

The Supreme Court registrar, Mr Godfrey Anguandia Opifeni, has set next Wednesday as the hearing date for the AG's application. The pre-trial hearing of the age limit appeal, which had initially been set for November 7, has been deferred to November 14.

In a related development, a group of individuals led by Mr Prosper Busingye, who were part of the five consolidated Mbale Constitutional Court petitions, yesterday revealed that they will not appeal the judgment before the Supreme Court.

Addressing journalists through their lawyer, Mr James Byamukama, they argued that the appeal would be diverting public attention from an already set political programme for 2021 elections and misleading the public into endless litigation.

"The community that we the petitioners represented in Mbale are satisfied and happy with the Constitutional Court decision at Mbale, especially the nullification of seven years' extension of MPs," Mr Byamukama said.

Additional reporting by Amos Ngwomoya


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