Male Mabirizi, one of the challengers of the Constitutional Amendment Act 2018 has finally filed his appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the verdict of the Constitutional Court. Mabirizi filed the 3066 page petition split in 150 booklets at the Supreme Court this morning.
He drove to the Supreme Court aboard a pickup with the voluminous petition. The appeal stems from a Constitutional Court judgment delivered by a panel of five judges at Mbale High court a fortnight ago upholding the scrapping of the presidential age limit. The judges are Cheborion Barishaki, Elizabeth Musoke, Alphonse Owiny-Dollo and Remmy Kasule.
With the exception of Justice Kenneth Kakuru who dissented in his judgment, the remaining judges said the act was passed in line with Constitutional procedures. But in his judgment, Justice Kenneth Kakuru, noted that the entire process of amending the Constitutional Amendment Act 2018 was flawed, saying the legislators didn’t consults citizens who are vested with the powers to amend the constitution.
Hours after the constitutional court judgment, Mabirizi filed a notice of appeal listing 80 grounds as to why he would challenge part of the majority judgment, orders and some aspects of the court findings. In his petition, Mabirizi raises sixteen grounds where he believes that the learned Justices erred in law while making their judgment.
They include derogation of the right to a fair hearing before an impartial court. Mabirizi argues that the judges erred in law when they evicted him from the seats occupied by representatives of other petitioners and placed him the dock throughout the entire and delivery of their judgment.
He also notes that the learned justices erred in law when they failed to state reasons for their decision not to summon the speaker of Parliament. Mabirizi also contends that the justices erred in law and fact when they contradicted themselves on legal principles and facts of the case. “This led them to reach wrongful conclusions not connected to the stated principles and facts on record,” reads the appeal in part.
He also argues that majority of the justices erred in law and fact by holding that there was a requirement for a certificate of financial implication instead of government presenting an impugned Bill itself. On the continued stay of the president in office after attaining 75 years, Mabirizi says the justices erred when they held that a president is not liable to vacate office on attaining the age of 75 years until his term expires.
He also contends that the judges erred when they denied him compensation for professional damages just like the case was with the rest of the petitioners. He wants the Supreme Court to declare the proceedings of the Constitutional Court as null and void for derogating the right to a fair hearing. He also wants the constitutional petition returned to the Constitutional Court for expeditious hearing before a different panel in compliance with fair hearing principles.
He also wants court to grant him general damages for inconveniences as well as a 25 percent per annum by the respondent on the damages and costs. In the alternative, Mabirizi prays for orders that the failure to comply with mandatory constitutional provisions, rules of parliament, violence and failure of public participation among other lapses rendered the whole process leading to enactment of Constitutional Act, 2018 null and void and of no effect.