Gerald Karuhanga, the Western youth Member of Parliament has written to the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga asking her to act expeditiously in accordance with her constitutional mandate to stop Parliament from approving Justice Benjamin Odoki as Chief Justice.
Kadaga is notified in the letter of the existence of a Constitutional Petition No. 39, of 2013 by MP Karuhanga Gerald Versus the Attorney General. The petition challenges President Museveni’s reappointment of Justice Odoki as Chief Justice.
In the Constitutional Petition Karuhanga said that the reappointment is inconsistent with and is in contravention of Articles 130, 133, 142 (1) and others of the Constitution of Uganda.
The constitutional petition says that when a Chief Justice retires he or she does not qualify for reappointment under the Constitution and that the decision of the Judicial Service Commission to advise the President to request retired Justice Odoki was illegal.
The petition requested an injunction to be issued restraining the respondent or his and other agencies or bodies of Government from implementing or continuing to do unconstitutional acts in perpetuation of the President’s unlawful decision.
Karuhanga’s letter comes after President Museveni’s letter dated 9th August to Speaker Kadaga notifying her of the reappointment of Odoki on a two year contract.
Museveni further told Kadaga that the letter was to forward Odoki’s name to her for Parliamentary approval.
In Karuhanga’s letter, he tells Kadaga that approving the retired Justice Odoki as Chief Justice could be unconstitutional until the matter is disposed of by courts of law.
He further tells her that he is aggrieved by the contents of the President’s letter informing her that he has already appointed Justice Benjamin Odoki as Chief Justice of Uganda and requesting for Parliamentary approval.
In a press Conference with other MPs, Karuhanga said that the reappointment of Justice Odoki is abrogation of the Constitution and if approved could be one of the treasonable acts Parliamentary appointments committee members could be charged with.
He said that in case the Constitutional Court fails to properly pronounce it’s self on the illegality Odoki’s reappointment, he will proceed to the Supreme Court.
MP Kaps Fungaroo, representing Obongi County in Moyo district, said that President Museveni is trying to test the waters to push through the removal of age limit of the President in the Constitution of Uganda saying that legislators should not lose focus.
He said President Museveni is reappointing Odoki saying that he wants his age mates to be around him and that he is using NRM legislators in parliament to fulfil his dreams.
He threatened that as the Constitutional Court prepares to rule on the Justice’s reappointment, the opposition is to move across the country in what he called a political campaign to protest the appointment saying that it is their constitutional mandate.
MP Atiku Bernard, representing Ayivu County said that Museveni’s letter to Speaker Kadaga showed that he is committed to abusing the Constitution of Uganda and asked Justice Odoki to refuse the appointment.
He added that Odoki’s reappointment is an insult to the people who have served in the Judiciary and are able to serve as Chief Justice.
He said that his attention is on Speaker Kadaga to see whether she actually convenes the appointments committee to vet Odoki for his approval and told Kadaga to scrutinize the letter written by MP Karuhanga and make a decision following her conscious and her constitutional Mandate.