By Hillary Nsambu
They did not want her to be sworn in as minister, but the wheels of justice were not as swift as the oath administrator.
The move to block Kayunga District Woman MP Aidah Erios Nantaba from swearing in as Lands State Minister, Tuesday flopped when the court refused to hear an application by a concerned citizen, Peter Kibirango.
Kibirango, a lawyer by profession, through Bwambale, Musede & Company Advocates, had sought to stop Nantaba from searing in as State Minister, pending the hearing and final determination of his constitutional petition seeking to nullify her approval.
The petitioner, in his petition, challenges as wrongful the procedure applied to approval Nantaba and that it also breach provisions of the Constitution that is why he seeks the interpretation of certain provisions of the constitution over the issue.
“The procedure fell below the required standard and out rightly flouted the cardinal constitutional principles,” Kibirango said in his affidavit. He criticized the Parliamentary vetting committee for acting as judge in its own cause and flouted the constitutional provisions and the Parliament Rules of procedure.
Kibirango also accuses the Vetting Committee for allegedly abdicating its function and responsibility of protecting and promoting the democratic governance of Uganda under the Constitution.
The Court of Appeal/ Constitutional Court's Registrar Elias Omar Kisawuzi told the lawyers representing Kibirango that the court could not hear their application because it had been filed late.
“The court is not ready to adjudicate the matter at such short notice. We needed ample time to prepare ourselves for such a matter of that magnitude. Moreover, it would be an academic exercise to entertain the application seeking to stop the swearing in of a person at the very time when the occasion is in progress at State House,” Kisawuzi told the petitioner's lawyers.
Kisawuzi further told the petitioner and his lawyers that the interest of justice would demand that the petitioner and the Attorney General should be heard together.
However, Kisawuzi assured the petitioner and his lawyers that the court would fix the date for hearing the petition and decide it on its merits when bother parties would present their legal arguments.