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Stop blaming courts, vote right - Justice Ekirikubinza

Supreme court justice Prof Lillian Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza has lashed out at Ugandans who she said fail to make right choices while casting their ballots and expect the courts to do miracles for them. 

Speaking at a symposium organised by the Makerere University School of Law while marking 50 years of its existence, Ekirikubinza, who, for a long time worked at Makerere, said Ugandans have themselves to blame if their elected leaders act contrary to their aspirations.

“People fail to do certain things and want us to do what they failed to do at the ballot. You fail to elect quality legislators and you want court to do that for you. As citizens, you ought to do your job of electing quality legislators who will do quality work for you and not to seek to use the court system to achieve what your leaders have failed to do for you,” Ekirikubinza who was part of the nine judges who in 2016 unanimously decided to uphold the election of President Museveni said.

The former acting vice chancellor of Makerere University might also be part of the panel of judges that will hear the appeal against the passing of the Constitutional Amendment Act that lifted the presidential age limit from the constitution.

Although the Constitutional court quashed part of the provisions of the amendment; the most significant being the extension of the term of office of members of parliament by two years, court, it nevertheless said parliament acted within its powers to lift age limits on presidential candidates.

Ekirikubinza said she gets disturbed by critics of court decisions, many of whom, she said are not even competent to make the criticism.

“Some of the critics against court arise out of the fact that we have lawyers who don’t understand judgements and want to comment on them. The judgement is as good as the lawyers; we would want the Law School to come up as amicus curea [friends of court]” Ekirikubinza said.

Speaking at the same function, deputy chief justice Alphonse Owinyi-Dollo castigated those criticising the Constitutional court for upholding the amendment of the constitution. He said these critics fail to recognise that court saved Ugandans from MPs who wanted to usurp their powers by extending their term of office.

“Everyone talks about the age limit provisions that court upheld and no one talks about court’s intervention to stop parliament from allocating themselves power to extend their term. When you read the judgement, you will find out that the justices almost agreed on all grounds. There was only one dissent…it’s okay to tear our judgement apart but you must recognise the good things in it,” Owinyi-Dollo said.

He called upon Ugandans to start believing in the court system, arguing that, its the only way to attaining a full democratic country that believes in its systems. For her part, Lydia Namubiru, the executive director of Laspnet, a not-for-profit organisation with interest in human rights, legal and constitutional issues said, its high time Makerere University Law School taught students who are up to the challenges of the ever evolving world.

She said lawyers must work towards improving their image that has been badly damaged by their greed for money.

“If you put a lawyer and another person from another field, what would society choose? I’m very sure now people will say lawyers are useless. We need to go back and clean ourselves to improve our image,” Namubiru said.

The symposium was attended by prominent lawyers like Francis Gimara, Joe Oloka-Onyango, John- Jean Barya, justice Remmy Kasule among others.

bakerbatte@observer.ug

Comments

+1 #11 Apollo Ekelot 2018-10-14 12:48
Excuse me Lilian, while for most parts I agree with you, I aver that we come to you for arbitration because it's a known fact that even when we make right choices while casting our ballots, our will is abrogated.

This statement seems to suggest that electoral outcomes seen in the declared vote numbers, is always a true expression of the citizenry; NO this is a far cry from what usually happens in Uganda!

I request Lillian to step back and review her assessment of the electoral situation in Uganda because it is certainly not the failure of the voters, but the power imbalance and the cheating behaviour electoral players that perverts the will of the people.
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+1 #12 Akot 2018-10-14 19:01
Quoting blubuk:
Most commenters have failed to read into the judge's subtle language.

She essentially means you get what is worth of what you voted for;- you make wrong choices-you reap the consequences.


Thanks!

As long as Ugandans don't throw Museveni & the entire system out, he will be the only winner of any election under his governance & will continue to control every institution, while court will be powerless to serve Ugandans!

It's Ugandans who MUST stand up to throw Musevni out & not continue voting under his demoniac administration where he will be the only winner!
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0 #13 Akot 2018-10-14 19:08
Ed, understood, yet,

Unless Ugandans throw Museveni out, the war will continue to be among Ugandans, while Museveni just goes on & without opposition!

Court cannot throw Museveni out but:

- Parliament ca impeach him,

- Ugandans in UNITY can shut Museveni down,

- tribal leaders standing down will, bring to pieces the tribalistic system & Museveni at the same time,

- Army blocking Museveni to force him out will,

- Formation of Independent Tribal States will leave Museveni landless!

Untill Ugandans decide, Musevni is going no where but our people will continue fighting one another & bolster the demon!
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0 #14 Akot 2018-10-14 19:12
Quoting WADADA rogers:
She is being polite, she means that Ugandans did not vote right


Agreed!

Neither did Ugandans come out to support/bolster the opposition leader they said won: they just worked-continue to in peace to let Museveni have his pocket money & distributes freely to those he wants to buy off!
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+1 #15 Odongkara 2018-10-15 10:44
Quoting Robert Atuhairwe:
When a judgment favours them, then court is just, fair and independent of the leopard; when it's not in their favour, then court is unjust, biased, judges are cadres and are bribed. Which schools they attended one can't tell!

Judges should begin to sue individually for defamation if they never have before.


And do you want us to believe that the Uganda judiciary isn't corrupt?

Who appoints the judges? Owiny Dolo is a known NRM cadre, lying? Think using your brain.54pn
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+1 #16 PaLugore 2018-10-15 12:14
Ekirrikubinza, like many in and out of the judiciary, is a beneficiary of the presidential patronage and is unlikely to be objective in her judgement of the popular mood of the electorate in Uganda.

One thing in clear: when Museveni is gone, Ugandans should consider replacing all these cadre judges in order to redeem the image of the institution.

Remember the Deputy Chief Justice: He was once caught red handed hiding ballot boxes stuffed in his favour in the Agago by-election. These are not humans but flies following the dead body to the grave.
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0 #17 Akot 2018-10-15 18:00
PaLugore, understood, but,

Until tribal leaders stand down & Ugandans UNITE to throw Museveni out, those in posts will try to survive & need their jobs to raise their chidlren!

Ugandans MUST UNITE & throw Museveni out to give chance to those in posts to work for electorate & not to please Museveni to keep their jobs!

Only Ugandans, in UNITY, can bring change then make it clear to those in posts that it's the people/electorate they work for or they are thrown out!

Museveni will have no legs, no roots,no branches if tribal leaders stand down to shatter the tribalistic system keeping him in power!

Why does Museveni own tax money he distributes like sweets: taxi drivers, traders, landslide/mud victims...?

Why is Uganda Musveni's personal business?
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