By John Ssentongo
It is Judgement day in Mbale. However, this might be a ruling on political issues of the day, but in actual sense it is the Judiciary is on trial.
That said, Thursday, July 26, 2018, is an important day. The Constitutional Court sitting in Mbale will in a few hours from now make its pronouncement on the controversial circumstances the Parliament of Uganda dropped age limits in the constitution. There are also other two issues including parliament granting themselves seven years terms starting with the sitting parliament and the restoration of two term limits for President.
The ruling is important because millions of Ugandans hope the bench led by Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo and other justices Remmy Kasule, Elizabeth Musoke, Cheborion Barishaki and Kenneth Kakuru, will do what politicians couldn’t do due to their love for expedience.
Court will determine whether or not the removal the presidential age limit of 75 years as maximum and 35 years as minimum, was done in accordance with the constitution of Uganda. The other issue of Extending terms for elected leaders to seven years from five starting with the current sitting, and Term limits, which were returned in a give and take manner.
It has taken court three months to call for Judgement since the hearings were wound up in Mbale in April. The population has at the same time lost the fire and issues raised in the passionate pleas of Dan Wandera Ogalo, Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, Erias Lukwago, and Male Kiwanuka Mabirizi are off the minds of many people following political developments in the country.
The ruling is also taking place on the day the national mood is distracted as there are several elections in different municipalities across the country.
This ruling is important because it is going to determine many future events. The judges therefore might have taken their time considering what is at stake, which was good. And possibly, today will show why three months was such a good time to determine this case. If Justice is served, and all sides are satisfied with the outcome of the court, there will be no need for more drama spilling into the Supreme Court. Positions taken by the justices will therefore have far reaching repercussions on the perceptions the country has on the Judiciary as the sanctuary of justice.
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