By UTN Reporter
Constitutional Court Judge Justice Kenneth Kakuru has quashed the entire Age Limit Act saying it violated the principles and process of constitution. This was in his three hours Judgment on the controversial constitutional petition challenging the Constitutional Amendment Act No.1 of 2018.
For just over three hours, he sounded to be lecturing and he cautioned.
Justice Kenneth Kakuru in his ruling ruled that the entire Constitutional Amendment which was authored last year by Mp Raphael Magyezi was null and void.
Justice Kakuru’s verdict was a stunning departure from the earlier rulings by two of his colleagues, Justices Cheborion Burishaki and Elizabeth Musoke, which almost identically expunged Sections 2, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 of the constitutional amendment act, but upheld sections 1, 3, 4 and 7 of the same amendment.
Justice Kakuru premised his judgment on the argument that Parliament in the process of enacting the amendment Act, — which he repeatedly referred to as the “Impugned Act” — flouted several of its own rules of procedure, and most importantly failed to sufficiently consult with Ugandans, as they legally should have.
He was particularly incensed by the amendment in which MPs extended parliament’s term and that of local government from 5 to 7 years, which amendment was smuggled into the bill without consulting the masses.
This, he said, could not be tolerated by court. About Parliament Rules, Justice Kakuru ruled that the August House illegally flouted its own rules, citing for instance a motion which was raised by the Attorney General, but was never seconded.
He also noted that MPs from different committees were allowed to sit on the legal affairs committee handling the amendment, and were also allowed to vote. The act of voting, he said, vitiated the entire proceedings and the final report of the committee. About Consultation, Justice Kakuru in his wisdom, and quite contrary to the rest of the judges, concluded that the entire Amendment Act was not passed after proper consultation with the masses.
He noted that the bill, which was presented on September 27 and passed on December 20th, spent a total of just 85 days in the house. Of these days, he said, the bill was before the Committee for just about 60 days, in which, he noted, enough Ugandans couldn’t have been consulted for input. On the Military Invasion in parliament, Justice Kakuru on whether or not the invasion of the house by the military affected the process of the amendment, Justice Kakuru ruled against the petitioners, stressing that the conduct of the Opposition MPs warranted the army’s intervention.
He held that The army wouldn’t have come if the MPs hadn’t conducted themselves the way they did. Kakuru however, had harsh words for the military and the police, regarding the manner in which they man-handled the MPs in the efforts to get them out of the house.
In his view, Kakuru said the Speaker should have adjourned the house to the following day and then ordered the sergeant at arms to block the troublesome MPs from accessing the house again.
Justice Kakuru concluded his ruling with a number of recommendations, among them establishment of a constitution review commission, which should be tasked to seek the views of Ugandans in 6 months on all amendments.