What you need to know:
- The petitioner claims the unconstitutional events happened to lavishly celebrate the birthday of Gen Muhoozi just because he is a son to President Museveni and cannot be called to order.
First Son, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, has asked the Constitutional Court to dismiss a petition in which he is accused of expressing his presidential ambitions while celebrating his 48th birthday, yet he is still a serving army officer to replace his father, President Museveni, who has been in power for close to four decades.
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In their May 19 joint response to the petition lodged by lawyer Gawaya Tegulle, Gen Muhoozi, the Attorney General (AG) and the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) aver that the petition against them is filed before a wrong court since it does not require a constitutional interpretation.
“The respondents (Muhoozi, AG and CDF), shall contend that the petition is misconceived and incompetent in as far as it does not raise any questions for constitutional interpretation and shall pray that it be dismissed with costs to the respondents,” the defence reads in part.
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Further, Gen Muhoozi and group state that the 48th birthday bash he held does not contravene the Constitution.
“In reply to …..of the petition, the respondents contend that the alleged acts of the 1st respondent (Gen Muhoozi) of holding a birthday celebrations are not inconsistent with or in contravention of Articles 2,3, 208 (2), 209, and 210 of the constitution,” the respondents defence reads in part.
In his petition filed in early May, Mr Tegulle claimed the acts of Gen Muhoozi dubbed: MK@48 that, among others, included national and district birthday celebrations as well as political pronouncements in general and the manifest presidential campaigns in particular, on his twitter handle, @MK, are inconsistent with article 208 (2) of the Constitution that provides that UPDF shall be non-partisan, and national in character.
“As a serving officer of the UPDF, the 1st respondent (Gen Muhoozi) acted in an indiscipline manner, lacking good character when with impunity breached the code of conduct for the defence forces,” the petitioner contends.
The CDF was sued for his alleged failure to advise or warn Gen Muhoozi about the untenable nature of his actions.
The AG issue
Further in their defence, they state that there was no need for the AG to give his legal opinion since the birthday activities by Gen Muhoozi were not unconstitutional.
Gen Muhoozi has also stated in his defence that the petitioner has not laid any evidence to show that his acts have led to loss of harmony and public confidence in the UPDF.
In the main petition, Mr Tegulle had argued that failure by the AG to give proper legal advice and guidance to the UPDF in general, and Gen Muhoozi in particular, that his acts are manifestly unconstitutional was an omission on his side.
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The petitioner claims the unconstitutional events happened to lavishly celebrate the birthday of Gen Muhoozi just because he is a son to President Museveni and cannot be called to order.
Through his lawyers of Thomas & Michael Advocates and Nalukoola Advocates & Solicitors, the petitioner prays to court to declare that the political schemes by Gen Muhoozi, who is still a serving officer, be declared unconstitutional.
Mr Tegulle also wants court to condemn the silence and inaction, which he interprets as approval or sanctions by the UPDF.