Saturday, 28 July 2018

KATUNTU: The Age Limit judgment gives green light to army to intervene anywhere

The Capital Gang in session. Katuntu top. PHOTO CAPITAL FM
Member of Parliament for Bugweri Abdu Katuntu has warned that one of the effects of the Age Limit judgment on Friday is that the Ugandan army can now intervene anywhere and have it justified.

"The effect of this judgment is that you can breach now any rule of parliament and it will be justified. I find that very dangerous...the army can enter any institution if it so warrants, and it can be justified," Katuntu said, adding "they can even enter the Chief Justice's chambers."

Katuntu was speaking on The Capital Gang on Capital 91.3Fm in Kampala on Saturday a day after the Constitutional Court in Mbale ruled that removing the 'Age Limit' on contesting for the presidency was constitutional, and that, the extension of parliamentary terms is unconstitutional.

In Friday's ruling, one of the five justices Cheborion Barishaki in fact stated that the September 2017 incident when soldiers of Special Forces Command entered the Parliament chamber and roughed up lawmakers does not itself invalidate the legislation. He said the events in Parliament constituted "an emergency" and army action justified.

Katuntu said an appeal should be filed. "We need to put this judgment to another level so that we have the final decision, never mind if it will be any different, but let's have it."

Another lawyer, Robert Kirunda agreed with Katuntu. "What happened in Mbale was the court has opened the door for militarism to triumph civilian authority. Saying the action of the forces was justified was, in my view, the darkest moment in that judgment."


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