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25 petitions tackled in two weeks: Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court has dedicated two weeks of day-to-day hearing to handle 25 petitions out of the 249 cases pending before it.

The hearing of the petitions started Monday and the selected panel of five justices handling the petitions is led by the Deputy Chief Justice, Richard Buteera.

The other justices on the panel are Kenneth Kakuru, Catherine Bamugemereire, Christopher Madrama, and Irene Mulyagonja.

Cases on the cause list signed by the court’s Acting Assistant Registrar Mary Babirye include that of Unwanted Witness Uganda challenging the Uganda Communications Commission’s decision to block access to social media platforms during the general elections.

The other notable ones are a case filed by the Democratic Republic of Congo seeking a declaration that the various orders made by the High Court of Uganda that led to the attachment and sale of the premises of the Zaire government in Kololo and Mbuya are contrary to the foreign policy objectives outlined in part XXVIII of the Constitution.

Another is a petition by Fox Odoi, the West Budama MP-elect who is challenging the declaration of 20 (21) of the regulations for NRM primary elections, saying it is contrary to Article 28(1), 44(c) of the Constitution.

Eight of the petitions cause-listed for the hearing were filed in 2015 while the others were filed between 2016 and 2020.

Babirye said this is a deliberate effort to handle backlog at the court, noting that all the hearings will be handled in conformity with the COVID-19 standard operating procedures.

“The court will encourage only advocates and litigants in the matters to participate to avoid crowding the court hall,” she said.

The Registrar of the Court, Susan Kanyange, said the court intends to hold two other constitutional petition sessions during the course of this year. Later this month, the Court of Appeal will hold a civil appeals session.

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