“One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.” – George Orwell in 1984
On the 27th September 2017, the Special Force Command or the Presidential Guards came into the chambers of the Parliament, evicted 25 Members of Parliament, these were opposition MPs. Who was against the Constitutional Amendment nicknamed the Age Limit. Whereas it give the President, a Life Presidency and also more terms, as well as the MPs gotten longer terms.
I will focus on what has been the outcome of some of the Court Justices at the Constitutional Court in Mbale. Where the Justices have defended that strangers has attended and been part of the Plenary Sessions, the first and second reading of the law. Especially, since in the days of the amendment being part of the order sheet, the army and police was making sure no one else entered and had militarized the street in and around the Parliament. That should not be natural around the Parliament, they enact the laws and make sure the standing of the state is secure. Not be a war-zone over a bill being read, the army should secure the borders and the wars they are in. They should not be entering the chambers and intimidate the MPs or the lawmakers of the Republic.
All of that should be natural reaction to what happen with the Age Limit proceedings, however, parts of the judiciary are on the defensive mode, in a way that is a disgrace. Will prove that with the law that is still active and in use. That being the Power and Privileges Act of 1955. First the statements from the justices, before the law itself and final comments.
“Military intervention arose from Members’ conduct and is demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society” – Justice Elizabeth Musoke
“I do not agree with the petitioners that the involvement of the army in parliament was unjustified. There were life-threatening incidents in Parliament and therefore it was justified for the army to be called in to support the police” – Justice Cheborion Barishaki
“I have no evidence that the Army and Police would have come to Parliament if the MPs did not behave like that. They called it upon themselves, however, Police and Army must be kept out of Politics” – Justice Kenneth Kakuru
“The conduct of MPs summoned the ‘beating’ they got from police/army. A number of MPs conducted themselves without the necessary expected restraint they are to blame for the scuffle at parliament” – Justice Remmy Kasule
After seeing those obnoxious statements from the judges. I will first show the law texts, that are my basis for understanding of the rules and why it is wrong to get strangers within the chambers. That speaker are allowed to ban MPs and send them away for disorder. That is fine and usual ordeal everywhere with a Parliament, however, the military intervention is just wrong and made the situation much worse.
“No stranger shall be entitled as of right to enter or to remain within the precincts of Parliament” (The Parliament – The Power and Privileges Act of 1955).
“Any person who—
assaults, obstructs, molests or insults any member coming to, being within, or going from the precincts of Parliament, or endeavours to compel any member by force, insult or menace to declare himself or herself in favour of or against any proposition or matter pending or expected to be brought before Parliament or a committee; assaults, interferes with, molests, resists or obstructs any officer of Parliament while in the execution of his or her duty or while proceeding to or from Parliament; creates or joins in any disturbance which interrupts or is likely to interrupt the proceedings of Parliament or a committee while Parliament or the committee is sitting” (The Parliament – The Power and Privileges Act of 1955).
So for me it is hard to listen to these judges saying it was fine and dandy for the Special Force Command could enter the chambers, create havoc and evict the MPs. That should be deemed illegal, as they interrupted proceedings, they entered it assaulted MPs and also forcefully evicted them. If it had been the ordinary officers, it would have made sense. But it wasn’t.
It is like these justices didn’t know about this law or didn’t care. Yes, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, got right to suspend and throw members out, but not send strangers in and let them assault people in the chambers. That is no justification for not in the chambers and neither in public.
This to me is insane and breaking boundaries with common sense. If these people did the same on the street, they would have violated the person and would gotten assault with a battery charge, but since it is inside the Parliament. The Constitutional Court are accepting it. That is just weird, especially from the judges, who are supposed to safeguard the people and give them justice. Instead, they are serving the master and not the public. They are not there for justice, not for something just, but for selfish reasons, I suppose. Peace.