Lawyer Mabirizi Age Limit case in Arusha
Lawyer Mabirizi seeks 95m to proceed with Age Limit case in Arusha. File Photo

Age Limit case: Lawyer Mabirizi needs 95m facilitation at East African Court of Justice in Arusha

Lawyer Kasim Male Mabirizi best known for suing Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi over land matters and for carrying a bunch of law books into the courtroom said he’s in need of 95 million shillings to proceed the age limit case he filed before the East African Court of Justice earlier.

Mabirizi says the court hearing on the case will start next year, but he has limited funds for facilitation, because of the huge costs associated with the case.

Thereafter, Mabirizi requested every concerned citizen to contribute any amount to enable him to raise the 95 million Uganda shillings he needs to pursue the case.

“I revised my budget from 394 million shillings to 114 million shillings and now I need 95 million shillings. Ugandans should help me offer something to fundraise for the cause,” Mabirizi said. 

“I still have debts on printing, photocopying and biding of authorities and other documents filed in the court. There are still debts on travel, accommodation and other expenses that I incurred during the first phase of the case that ended last month,” Mabirizi revealed.

Mabirizi adds that the East African Court of Justice proceedings on the Age Limit case that sits in Arusha, has brought hope to Ugandan who had lost hope after the Supreme Court judgement.

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He says many Ugandans thought Supreme Court ruling was final.

“Many of them thought the declaration of the Supreme Court was final, but when they saw proceedings at the East African Court of Justice, they realised there is still hope for them.”

In his view, Age Limit case is very important as regards to rule of law in Uganda and constitutionalism. However, he noted it was appalling to see that during the Arusha Court proceedings, only one Ugandan was present and that’s him.

In response to Mabirizi’s appeal, the government informed the East African Court of Justice in Arusha that it has no jurisdiction to hear the case.

According to the government, there’s no need to hear Mabirizi’s case again, because it was handled duly and settled by a competent court in Uganda. 

Last month, before the East African Court of Justice sitting in Arusha, Mabirizi requested it to halt the coming 2021 general elections to permit hearing and judgement of his appealed case.

Mabirizi filed an appeal seeking a declaration that the process of passing and assenting to the Age Limit Act was null and void.

He says the ruling contradicted Articles 6 and 7 of the East African Community treaty.

The turn of the event follows a 4:3 majority ruling of the Supreme Court earlier in Mbale that dismissed a challenge against the constitutional court’s ruling by three parties.

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In the ruling, the constitutional court upheld age limit clauses off Uganda’s Constitution by Parliament.

According to Mabirizi, the decision taken by parliament and judiciary to uplift the Age Limit infringed the provisions in the East African Community Treaty.

“The action of curtailing and undermining Uganda citizens’ participation in their constitutional amendment process through preventing the applicant (Mabirizi) access to parliament’s gallery, and failure to take all reasonable steps in the circumstances to ensure public participation of all Ugandans in the Constitutional amendment process was a violation of their rights,” Mabirizi’s petition stated.

He adds that;

“Using the police and the military to disperse meetings organised by members of parliament and other political players to enhance public participation of citizens was a violation of their rights.”

Mabirizi in his argument said that Constitutional amendments associated with threats and violence violate the integrity of parliament.

He adds that involving the army into partisan politics was a violation of legislators rights against torture, an inhuman and demeaning treatment to parliamentarians.