The court battles over the Age Limit Bill are yet to come to an end. Lawyer Male Mabirizi has yet again filed a petition with the High Court, asking it to nullify last week’s judgement in which the removal of the Presidential Age Limit was upheld courtesy of a 4-3 score by the bench.
The lawyer wants the Supreme Court to choose three others among its judges to replace the three he charges with attachment to President Museveni, so a new bench can determine the case of his appeal seeking to overturn the bill that parliament passed removing presidential age limits.
The three judges Mabirizi charges with attachment to President Museveni are Jotham Tumwesigye, Stella Arach Amoko and Chief Justice Bart Katureebe.
Mabirizi in his petition (Supreme Court Application Number 6 of 2019) argues that the said three of the four judges who ruled to uphold the Age Limit Removal had “conflict of interest in the matter”, courtesy of their “attachment to President Museveni who was the beneficiary of the amendment.”
Mabirizi claims that Justice Jotham Tumwesigye is an old friend of President Museveni with whom they attended school at Ntare, and adds that the judge is an insider of the president’s NRM Party having worked as Legal Director of NRM.
The lawyer then says Justice Arach Amoko was also unfit to sit on the bench in the appeal because his husband Idule Amoko is a presidential appointee to the diplomatic role in which he serves as Ambassador to the African Union.
For the case of Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, Mabirizi argues that the judge should have stepped down from the bench because of ‘infirmity,’ given that the Chief Justice was sick for several weeks with an eye problem and delivered his ruling just a couple of weeks away from a surgery to correct the problem. Mabirizi says given the Chief Justice couldn’t even read his own judgement, there is no way he might have written it, and he says this is wrong because any judge with an infirmity is required by law to step down from the bench.
Mabirizi has asked the Supreme Court to choose three others among its judges to determine the case of his appeal seeking to overturn the bill that parliament passed removing presidential age limits.