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Mabirizi Petitions East African Court Over New Parliamentary Positions

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Mabirizi argues that the law requires Electoral Commission to review the division of Uganda into constituencies within twelve months after the publication of census results, which wasn’t the case. It is on these grounds that he wants court to first block the elections pending the determination of his petition.
11 Aug 2020 15:17
Male Mabirizi at the Registry of the East African Court of Justice in Kampala.

Audio 2

Male Mabirizi has petitioned the East African Court of Justice seeking to block elections in 46 newly created constituencies and six parliamentary representatives for the elderly. In his application filed in the Registry of the East African Court of Justice in Kampala, Mabirizi wants the court to block the elections pending the disposal of his main petition challenging the creation of the new constituencies.

According to Mabirizi, there was no quorum when parliament passed the resolutions to create the constituencies on July 30, 2020 and seats for the elderly representatives on August 4, 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga reduced the number of legislators attending plenary to 100 so as to enforce social distancing. This means only 100 out of the 457 legislators currently attend each parliamentary session, which is far below the required quorum.

According to Mabirizi, to pass such resolutions, parliament required at least one third (152) of the legislators. He also argues that in addition to lack of quorum there was no debate, public consultation and Bill for the amendments to the Constitution as the law provides. He contends that the actions of parliament are unlawful and infringement on the fundamental and operational principles of the community, which include good governance, democracy, rule of law, accountability and transparency.  

Mabirizi argues that the law requires Electoral Commission to review the division of Uganda into constituencies within twelve months after the publication of census results, which wasn’t the case. It is on these grounds that he wants court to first block the elections pending the determination of his petition.  

 

In the same petition, Mabirizi also challenges the process that led to the recruitment of the new directors at Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA led by the Executive Director, Dr. Dorothy Kisaka.  Those appointed alongside Kisaka are Engineer David Luyimbazi Ssali, Deputy Executive Director, Dr. Daniel Okello, Director Public Health and Grace Akullo, Director Human Resources and Administration.   

According to Mabirizi, there was procedural impropriety in the recruitment process because the law requires that the President acts on the advice of the Public Service Commission, when making such appointments but not vice versa as the president reportedly did.        

Mabirizi also wants court to quash the recently approved Administration of the Judiciary Act, saying it was discussed and passed by parliament without quorum. The act provided for the payment of the monthly emolument to a retired Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice. Lower Judicial Officers will get 80 percent of their salaries even after retiring from active service.

Mabirizi told court shortly after filing his petitions that is hopeful the East African Court will handle his matter.  

//Cue in: “I have hope…       

Cue out: …must be followed”. //  

 

Luganda

//Cue in: “Ekisoka koti ya….      

Cue out: liba lijakwononeka’.// 

 

Court is expected to summon government to respond to respond to the applications.