Five Justices of the Constitutional Court who delivered the age limit ruling last week in Mbale, calling the extension of term of office for MPs and other elected officials to 7 years unconstitutional are now in the bad books of President Yoweri Museveni.
The ruling was delivered by the five constitutional Court Justices; Cheborion Barishaki, Elizabeth Musoke, Kenneth Kakuru, Remmy Kasule and Deputy Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo at Mbale Court in a session that lasted over 12 hours.
However, four justices upheld the constitutional amendment of 2017 that lifted the age cap which barred Ugandans above 75 years from contesting for the Presidency. This means Museveni can contest in the next election.
During the delivery of judgment, Justice Kenneth Kakuru, who dissented from the rest of the bench, decried the manner in which the constitution is treated, arguing that the constitution shouldn’t be amended like someone changing his or her clothes.
Now, in a statement issued this morning, President Museveni attacked the five Justices claiming they are unpatriotic, reminding them that they are not in charge of the country.
He further called the recent “victory” of NRM candidates in the just concluded LC elections a referendum in support of the age limit and seven years’ debate.
Adding that; “The Judges should have taken into consideration the recent L.C.1 and Women Councils and Committees elections which gave massive victory to the NRM, soon after the age limit and the seven years' debate. This was more or less a referendum. There was open participation by the millions.”
Mr. Museveni who is certainly planning a comeback with his NRM MPs, said that if they follow his “guidelines and bond” closely with the people, through wealth and job creation, they can, together with the people, make the necessary Constitutional reforms, judges or no judges.
“We shall harmonize and galvanize our position. The undemocratic age limit nonsense was clear. "Nibagaya Engabo oti mwihemu abagurusi?" (How can you say old soldiers should be disqualified when everybody’s efforts are needed because the good soldiers are not enough?)” He noted.
President Museveni added that Constitution should facilitate modernization of Uganda and the economic and political integration of Africa for the survival of the people of Africa as free people, not just the theatre of democracy of form without addressing substance.