"Tyrants have always some slight shade of virtue; they support the laws before destroying them."
In what will be the best news of the year yet to President Yoweri Museveni, the Ugandan Supreme Court has today upheld a decision to scrap presidential age limits, paving the way for the country's 74-year-old leader to seek a sixth term in office.
The judgment also gives President Museveni the freedom to contest for the presidency indefinitely after the 2021 elections.
The judgment which was delivered by Chief Justices Bart Katureebe, Stella Arach Amoko, Eldad Mwangusya, Prof Lillian Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza, Jotham Tumwesigye, Rubby Opio Aweri, and Paul Mugamba dismissed a petition by Museveni's opponents, who had appealed against a ruling by the constitutional court that removed an age cap of 75 for presidential contenders.
According to the Ugandan constitution, the age limit for contesting a presidential election is 75-years, but the president who has ruled for five tenures moved the constitutional court to cancel the age-limit. This prompted the opposition to seek interpretation and justice from the Supreme Court of the land to prevent President Yoweri Museveni who has been ruling the country for 33 years from contesting in the 2021 elections.
"This appeal therefore fails," Chief Justice Bart Katureebe declared in handing down the court's majority 4-3 verdict.
While running for a fifth term in 2016, Museveni had the only reason he was contesting was that it was not the right time for him to leave and that he still had a lot of work to do.
So, the people and especially the opposition were surprised in February, when the ruling party endorsed Yoweri Museveni again as its candidate for the 2021 elections.
The Supreme Court was the only hope of the opposition to prevent Museveni from contesting the elections in 2021 and alleviating their fears of a life-long presidential agenda. If the Supreme Court had overturned the decision of the Constitutional Court, he would not be eligible to contest for the presidency despite the endorsement by his party.
Is such a decision good for the African continent? Let’s have your thoughts?
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