The government contends that the President’s directives were backed by statutory Instruments issued by the Health Minister under the Health Act.
Activist Simon Wanyera and Isaac Ssemakadde accompany controversial lawyer Male Mabirizi as he files a list of surities to East African Court of Justice
The Attorney General has defended the
President’s directives on curfew and lockdown at the East African Court in
The directives in mid-March were challenged by city lawyer Male
Mabirizi at the East African Court of Justice saying they were unconstitutional.
Mabirizi said the directives,
which among others lead to the closure schools, stopped church services were
not backed by any law but decrees.
He argued that Uganda is not governed by decrees.
He also challenged the appointments of several government officials during the lockdown.The President has just appointed the Director
of Public Prosecution Justice Jane Frances Abodo and the Uganda Revenue
Authority Commissioner General Moses Musinguzi among others.
The Attorney General represented by George
Kallemera at the East African Court of Justice Registry in Kampala said Mabirizi's
suit is devoid of any merit and it should be dismissed.
the appointments made during the lock down, the government says that the
president has powers to appoint any qualified person into an office in public
service at the rank of head of department or above including a confirmation as
well as their removal.
The government contends that the President’s directives
were backed by statutory Instruments issued by the Health Minister under the
Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng in the past two
months issued three instruments to enforce government's directives on measures taken to
stop the spread of the Covid 19 disease.
The instruments include; the Public Health Notification of
Covid-19 Order 2020. The order provided that COVID-19 should be managed under
the Public Health Act Statutory Instrument number 45 of 2020.
Aceng also issued the Statutory order
restricting entry into Uganda and rules to prevent the spread of Covid 19
within Uganda. All these were issued shortly after Mabirizi had filed his case.
Mabirizi took government to the East African court of Justice
after a similar case was deregistered from the Kampala high court records by
Justice Andrew Bashaija.
He in the case to east Africa Court of Justice condemned the closing of the borders of Uganda with its EAC partner states saying it would impede trade, free movement of goods and services as envisaged in the EAC Common Market.
“The action of the president to close the border with Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan, which are partner states in the Community without notifying them and without complying with the Uganda Health Act, was in contravention of the principle of free movement of persons enshrined in the Protocol of the establishment of the EAC Common Market.”