Mbabazi’s man sues Museveni over age limit
The latent contest between President Museveni and former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has taken another twist, with the latter’s supporter petitioning court to bar Mr Museveni from contesting for President in 2016 on account of advanced age.
Mr Benjamin Alipanga, largely seen as a proxy of Mr Mbabazi, filed the petition in the Constitutional Court on Wednesday last week. Mr Alipanga argues that Museveni, “……. will not be qualified to serve a full five-year presidential term from 2016 because he will be past the constitutional age limit provided for in the Uganda Constitution”.
The Uganda Constitution bars any person above 75 years from becoming President. Mr Museveni is 71 years old. Should he be re-elected in 2016, he will turn 75 years in 2019, two years away from the end of his five –year term.
Article 102(b) of the Constitution states that a person is qualified for election as President if that person is not less than 35 years and not more than 75 years of age. However, the article is silent on when a President turns 75 years while still serving his current term. It is this lacuna that Mr Alipanga wants the Constitutional Court to interpret.
He is represented by Mugisha & Company Advocates, Akampurira & Partners Advocates & Legal Consultants, Muwema & Company Advocates & Solicitors, and Twinobusingye Severino & Company Advocates.
According to the petition, Mr Alipanga wants court to issue a permanent injunction stopping the Electoral Commission from accepting nomination of Mr Museveni as a presidential candidate in 2016 unless and until the petition on the controversy is disposed of.
The petitioner also wants court to stop Parliament from “amending or in any way tampering or trying to tamper with” the cited provisions of the Constitution which are now before the Constitutional Court for interpretation.
Last month, Mr Alipanga petitioned the same court, seeking an injunction to block the appointment of the new leaders at the NRM secretariat until court disposed of his main petition. Court dismissed his application for the injunction but ordered that his main petition challenging the appointments be heard and disposed of expeditiously.
Mr Alipanga also wants the court to declare as unconstitutional the NRM Kyankwanzi resolution in February 2014 which endorsed Mr Museveni as the party’s sole candidate for 2016 presidential election.
He is also seeking annulment of the report authored by a committee chaired by Wakiso Woman MP Rose Mary Sseninde on NRM parliamentary elections. He says “the said NRM Parliamentary Caucus usurped the powers of the mainstream organs of the NRM as provided under the NRM constitution”.