13 December 2018

Uganda: Supreme Court to Rule On Kadaga Summons

Kampala — Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will rule on whether to allow lawyer Male Mabirizi argue out his application in which he seeks to have the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, summoned and cross-examined on the role she played in the passing of the presidential age limit Bill last year.

The hearing of the application in which Mr Mabirizi wants to cross-examine Ms Kadaga had been scheduled for yesterday morning.

However, the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe who headed a seven-judge panel, asked Mr Mabirizi to convince the panel on why it was necessary to summon Ms Kadaga yet all the parties appealing the Mbale verdict have already filed their written submissions.

Chief Justice Katureebe said hearing of the application would lead to reopening up of new evidence yet all parties have filed their submissions.

He also asked the litigants which rule permits this kind of arrangement before suggesting that Mr Mabirizi was going on an evidence-fishing expedition.

In reply, Mr Mabirizi submitted that since the oral hearing of the appeal challenging the Constitutional Court judgment has not yet been conducted, it is prudent that Ms Kadaga is examined on her role.

The hearing of the appeal challenging the Constitutional Court judgment that okayed the scrapping of Article 102(b) from the Constitution has since been fixed for January 15 and 16, 2019.

"Although we have filed written submissions, the appeal has not yet been heard. It comes up on 15th and 16th January, meaning if there is new evidence, it can be highlighted," Mr Mabirizi said.

The Solicitor General, Mr Francis Atoke, who represented the State, concurred with the judges' observations.

Government reaction

Mr Atoke said he had planned to raise a preliminary objection if the justices had not pointed out the same concerns.

The Chief Justice yesterday also criticised the poor quality of affidavits filed by both parties.

He said some affidavits were full of conjectures, opinions and narrations and that this offends the rules.

However, Mr Mabirizi said the affidavits were made professionally and were based on his knowledge as a lawyer and are admissible in court.

The Solicitor General conceded that a few of the paragraphs in the government team's affidavits offended the rules.

After hearing from both sides, the Chief Justice said the court will deliver its ruling tomorrow.


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