A lawyer has asked court to declare as “illegal” the appointment of Justice Simon Byabakama as Electoral Commission (EC) chairperson without him retiring as Court of Appeal judge.
Mr Male Mabirizi in applications filed at the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala yesterday also sought orders for a permanent injunction restraining Justice Byabakama from further holding his position as EC chairman. In turn, he wants the seat declared vacant.
“I know that the continued holding of the position of EC chairperson by Justice Byabakama without resigning his position of a justice of Court of Appeal compromises the independence of the Judiciary in dealing with electoral matters since one of the members of the Judiciary is at the same time the head of a very controversial institution, the EC,” Mr Mabirizi states in his affidavit.
He further states that the Judiciary’s website indicates that Justice Byabakama is on special assignment while carrying out EC duties.
President Museveni appointed Justice Byabakama on November 18, 2016, as the EC chairperson replacing Mr Badru Kiggundu.
In the second application, Mr Mabirizi is challenging the appointment of Brig Sam Bakasumba, Brig Godfrey Golooba, Col Jese Kamunannwire and Col Sserunjogi Ddamulira to serve in the Police force, saying it was illegal, procedurally improper and beyond the powers of the President.
The four army offices where respectively assigned a rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police to work as chief of joint staff, director human resource administration and director crime intelligence.
In his affidavit, Mr Mabirizi states that Uganda People’s Defence Forces and Uganda Police Force are distinct with different recruitment, training and promotion procedures.
“I know that the President neither has powers to appoint UPDF officers and men/women as Uganda Police Force officers nor assign Uganda Police Force ranks to such officers and men/women,” the court documents read in part.
In his third application, Mr Mabirizi is challenging the legal Notice No.7 of 2019 that was published in the Uganda Gazette of May 31 in which Chief Justice Bart Katureebe made the Constitution recusal of judicial officers.
Mr Mabirizi states that Article 133(b) gives the Chief Justice powers to issue orders and directions to the courts necessary for the proper and efficient administration of justice, however, the recusal processes goes to the root of the none-derogable right to fair hearing.
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