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Constitutional Court dismisses petition after Besigye no-show

By Andante Okanya, Michael Odeng

Added 5th October 2020 01:25 PM

In the case lodged at the court in 2011, he protested the legality of Section 26 of the Penal Code Act

Constitutional Court dismisses petition after Besigye no-show

In the case lodged at the court in 2011, he protested the legality of Section 26 of the Penal Code Act

Opposition politician and former president of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Kizza Besigye on Monday snubbed an engagement at the Constitutional Court.

The four-time presidential candidate was meant to buttress his complaint about the terrorism laws.

But his absence prompted the panel of Justices to conclude that he had abandoned his cause. Accordingly, it was dismissed.

The court was informed that Besigye and his lawyer had been furnished with the mandatory appearance summons.

"The petitioner's counsel was notified of today's hearing date and there is an affidavit of service as proof," said head panelist Justice Frederick Egonda-Ntende.

The other panelists are Justices Cheborion Barishaki, Elizabeth Musoke, Irene Mulyagonja, and Muzamiru Kibeedi.

In the case lodged at the court in 2011, Besigye petitioned against the Attorney General (AG), protesting the legality of Section 26 of Uganda's Penal Code Act.

He contended that the provision conflicted with clauses in the supreme law; the Constitution, as stipulated in Articles 23, 28, 29, and 44.

Section 26 of the Penal Code Act elaborates on the crime of terrorism, its constituents, and the penalty in event of a conviction, which is life imprisonment. 

Besigye lamented that the Penal Code Act provision curtails the inalienable Constitutional rights of movement, assembly, religion, association, and expression.

The supremo argued that the terrorism law also dampened the conducive atmosphere to ensure a fair hearing.

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