MPs are legally right on the IGG issue


“This case is not about the powers of parliament to legislate.  Actually the case is about constitutional  interpretation which is why the IGG’s instance on going to the CC is the best solution.  Let the Court determine.”

Mr. WBK,
It is only parliament and partly gov’t where subdelegated (statutory instruments)by the parliament to both make and unmake national(not talking about other subdelegated local laws)laws. The role of the courts is only  to interpret those laws pursuant to the ‘spirit and intendment’ of the legislators, so this means that parliament is supreme over other public institutions.

If you read well about Ch 13, Arts 223-232(1995) Constitution, nothing it suggests that IGG doesn’t have to go through similar procedures of (re)appointment upon expiration of her first tenure. Moreover ‘reappointment’ itself means that your previous term has expired and ‘if’ reappointed to start a ‘ a fresh one’. The word ‘fresh’ probably means something new, which implies that if you are starting something new you have to start from the basics, the basics which in this question would imply IGG going through similar procedures as before.  However, if the framers of the constitution perhaps expressly used ‘ the phrase ‘automatic extension’ upon good achievements,then legislators would probably be wrong to go back on their words  to call IGG, as they are doing now, to be re-vetted.

Mr. WBK courts are always inferior before the lawmakers because their role is only to give meaning to the words of the lawmakers and that is well known by Mwondha herself. This brings us to the conclusion that the CC is likely to rule in favor of the legislators. On the one hand if it were to rule in favor of the claimant, that is IGG, the lawmakers still have the constitional right to amend the part of the law which is ambigeous, the right which the courts don’t have.

In UK for example if any citizen brings to court a claim that a law made by the parliament infringes his right in regard to the now Human Rights Act (1998), an Act which was correponds to the European Convention of Human Rights(1951), the only role of the Court is to declare, if it finds the piece of legislation to contradict the aforementioned Act or convention, incompatible. However, incompatibility in itself means nothing at all because the law is still in application untill parliament decides otherwise.

So my learned friend, I aware that you are fond of the lady cos of her profound achievements(positive) speficially in such an extremely horrible environment……but but but…. why is it hard for her to go through a simple thing? Mr. WBK ,how about M7 advancing similar argument that he doesn’t have to go back to the electoral commission for vetting and nomination because the constitution is also silent about sitting leaders? would that set a good precedent?

Unless the parliament is undermined by the judges, IGG is unlikely to win this case at all judicial levels. As I have noted earlier, should, on the other hand, the ruling be in favor of IGG the parliament still has a right to remedy the situation. Let us just have eyes widely opened and see what the courts will have to say.

As regards passing of the bills and the president being the only legitimate person to assent them,  Mr. WBK, a bill can still become a law with or without his assent. Article 91 on the Exercise of Legislative powers state the following:

“(5) Where the President returns the same bill twice under paragraph (b) of clause (3) of this article and the bill is passed for the third time, with the support of at least two-thirds of all members of Parliament, the Speaker shall cause a copy of the bill to be laid before Parliament and the bill shall become law without the assent of the President.
(6) Where the President-
(a) refuses to assent to a bill under paragraph (c) of clause (3) of this article, Parliament may  reconsider the bill and if passed, the bill shall be presented to the President for assent;
(b) refuses to assent to a bill which has been reconsidered and passed under paragraph (a) of this clause or under clause (4) of this article, the Speaker shall, upon the refusal, if the bill was so passed with the support of at least two-thirds of all members of Parliament, cause a copy of the bill to be laid before Parliament and the bill shall become law without the assent of the President.
(7) Where the President fails to do any of the acts specified in clause (3) of this article within the period prescribed in that clause, the President shall be taken to have assented to the bill and at the expiration of that period, the Speaker shall cause a copy of the bill to be laid before Parliament and the bill shall become law without the assent of the President.
(8) A bill passed by Parliament and assented to by the President or which has otherwise become law under this article hall be an Act of Parliament and shall be published in the Gazette”

The thing is Uganda is a struggling democracy where the rule of law is  no strictly adhered to.  For instance the constitution puts the age limit of  any aspiring president to something  between 35 and 73. General m7 is now, was it 60?, however don’t be surprised that he may rule beyond the constitutional limit if Allah were still on his side.

Robert Ssenkindu

Ugandan residing in Sweden

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