In Summary

The Democratic Party (DP) has thrown the East African Community (EAC) legislative process in balance after it filed a case challenging the election of Uganda’s representatives to the community legislature.

Kampala

The Democratic Party (DP) has thrown the East African Community (EAC) legislative process in balance after it filed a case challenging the election of Uganda’s representatives to the community legislature.

The DP and its legal adviser, Mr Fred Mukasa Mbidde, allege provisions of the rules of procedure of the Parliament of Uganda relating to elections of members to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) are inconsistent with the Ugandan Constitution and the EAC Treaty in as far as they exclude sections of shades of opinion from participating and accessing the EALA coveted offices.

The case was filed in Arusha and court has given the Ugandan government and the secretary general of the EAC up to September 28 to file a defence and have the matter heard that day.

“Upon reading the notice of motion dated August 4, 2011 brought under Article 39 of the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community; Rules 21 and 24 of the East African Court of Justice Rules of Procedure and upon considering the affidavits of Mukasa Fred Mbidde sworn on August 4 and 19, the notice of motion is set down for hearing on September 28, 2011,” reads the August 23, order of the court.

Similar case
Mr Mbidde said DP’s case was similar to a Kenyan one in which the applicants successfully challenged the election of nine Kenyan representatives to the EALA. The rules under question include Rules 11(1) and Appendix B r3, 10, 11 as at 2006. DP contend that the rules offend Article 50 of the EAC Treaty and Articles 29 of the Ugandan Cconstitution.

In the past the Forum for Democratic Change, the dominant opposition party took the opposition slots with members Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu and Mr Wandera Ogalo being the lucky ones. Other opposition parties got nothing.

The NRM vets its nominees in caucus and only brings them to the floor of Parliament for confirmation. This, Mr Mbidde says, is not an election and deprives the small parties.

Mr Mbidde also says the secretary general of the EAC has a duty to supervise the Uganda Parliament to have elections that conform to Article 50 of the EAC Treaty but has allegedly abdicated his duty.