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Outlawing Bail Is Tantamount To Overthrowing Constitution – Justice Kanyeihamba

The Retired Justice of the Supreme Court Professor George Kanyeihamba has said if Parliament pushes throw President Yoweri Kaguta Musveni’s proposal of scrapping bail for capital offenders, it would be an affront on the constitution that must be resisted by all Ugandans.

Speaking to the media today at his home in Buziga, Kanyeihamba who was once a minister in President Museveni’s cabinet before being appointed a justice said the right to bail is one of those that are inalienable and implored parliament to disregard the President’s renewed push to limit it.

“Article 3 of the constitution provides that all citizens of Uganda shall have the right and duty at all times to defend this constitution and in particular to resist any person or group of persons seeking to overthrow the established constitutional order. I’m a Uganda citizen; therefore, constitutionally I’m empowered to petition court and prevent the violation of the Uganda constitution…” said Kanyeihamba.

He added that parliament should never forget that Uganda is also part of the international community and therefore bound by the agreements and protocols it has signed.

“Museveni’s monographic and despotic crusade is in conflict with international law and norms. It violates the United Nations Chatter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the African Union charter and African Union Commission protocols on human and people’s right…The fulfillment of his desires will definitely necessitate the withdraw of the Ugandan state and nation for abrogation of all international treaties and agreements which are founded on the respect and observation of human rights,” added Kanyehimba.

He vowed to drag the government to court if they move ahead and amend the constitution. For his part, Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago who also attended the press conference thanked Kanyeihamba for being unflinching when it comes to fighting for human rights despite his advanced age.

Lukwago said every well-meaning Ugandan should stand up and resist the move to outlaw bail for capital offenders saying anyone is a potential victim of the law.

Last week Daily Monitor reported that cabinet had debated proposals presented by the Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka on reforming laws relating to bail and police bond. It’s expected that these proposals will be taken to parliament in form of a bill to among others outlaw bail and police bond for capital offenders up to a period of ix months.

About three weeks ago, President Museveni met with the National Resistance Movement (NRM) parliament caucus in Kololo to try and persuade them to accept the proposal. However, sources that attended the meeting intimated that majority of the MPs who got the opportunity to speak rejected the proposal calling it a poisonous chalice that might return to haunt them. They advised the President to instead reform the criminal justice system so that suspects are tried and sentenced in a timely manner.


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