Essential to public confidence in the judiciary is the assurance that justice is not for sale and that legal disputes will be resolved by fair and impartial judicial officers and the independence of the judge is a requisite to guard the constitution and the rights of individuals i agree with Wal Mart and Alexandra. The fact that Ugandans had earlier predicted the outcome of the age limit ruling I would imagine if it was a football match, gaming companies would register a big loss to those who believe in betting.
The 2016 Presidential Election Petition No.1,Amama Mbabazi v Museveni and others at the Supreme court and now the president’s statement where he describes the decision on age limit by the judges as an undemocratic nonsense which focuses on form and procedure rather than substance plays out right. If the president does not believe in judges what about we Ugandans who had hopes in the five judges, in 2016 the supreme Court gave a directive to executive on electoral reforms the advocates thought there was green light since the justices all in agreement agreed to the Implementation of recommendations by the Supreme Court and said we note that most of the recommendations for reform made by this Court in the previous presidential election petitions have remained largely unimplemented.
They went ahead to say “We have nevertheless observed in this petition that the Rules require that the Attorney General be served with all the documents in the petition. We have further noted that the Attorney General may object to withdrawal of proceedings. Therefore the Attorney General is the authority that must be served with the recommendations of this Court for necessary follow up.” The Attorney General was to follow up on the recommendations made by this Court with the other organs of State, namely Parliament and the Executive.
The Attorney General shall report to the Court within two years from the date of this Judgment the measures that have been taken to implement these recommendations. The Court may thereafter make further orders and recommendations as it sees fit, surprisingly not even this last sentence has moved the Attorney general to start on the process of ensuring the constitutional review process is constituted. If the commission was to be constituted will it address the amendments made to article 105(b) of the constitution?
And if they do will the president issue another statement of the like to the constituted commission. Article 119 (1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda provides that the Attorney General of Uganda shall be a cabinet minister appointed by the president with the approval of Parliament. Can the commission if constituted have article 119 (1) of the Constitution be amended and consider rewriting the role of the Attorney General in Uganda in advancing constitutionalism and the rule of law.
According to Godfrey M. Musila, a Research Fellow at the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law (SAIFAC) in his Article, the Office of the Attorney General in East Africa: Protecting Public Interest through independent prosecution and Quality Legal Advice the Attorney General is the main legal adviser to the government and in some jurisdictions may in addition have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions.
Very soon the Electoral Commission will unveil its roadmap after the court ruling in Mbale, the question is are we ready to go into another election when the issue of electoral reforms is not addressed should judiciary react now or wait for another petition to make another recommendation. Should Ugandans take it that the attorney general will not uphold the decision of the court not to kick start on the process of constituting a constitutional review process? Will Ugandans push government to adopt the electoral reforms on its Agenda as one of its priority areas of concern .
It’s not too late for the judiciary to shine it’s now or never, i end with a quote "The founders realized there has to be someplace where being right is more important than being popular or powerful, and where fairness trumps strength. And in our country, that place is supposed to be the courtroom. “Sandra Day O’Connor
By Faridah Lule
Analyst Elections & Learning CCEDU