THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA
IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF UGANDA
CONSTITUTIONAL PETITION NO. 3 OF 199 9
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS (Enforcement Procedure Rules 1992 directions 1996)
1. PAUL K. SSEMOGERERE PETITIONERS
2 . ZACHARY OLUM
(On 23/09/99 Hon. Justices of Appeal S.T.MANYINDO, DCJ; C.M.KATO, JA; AND A.E.MPAGI-BAHIGEINE, JA; J.P.BERKO, JA; C.N.B.KITUMBA, JA;, delivered the following ruling)
RULING OF THE COURT:
During the hearing of this petition the learned Solicitor General raised four (4) points of preliminary objections, the first point which is of concern now is that the Petition is incompetent in that it is not supported by evidence. It was submitted that the main evidence in support of the Petition is to be found in the affidavits of the 2nd Petitioner Hon. Zachary Olum and 2 others who are Honourable Members of Parliament and that as that evidence relates to proceedings of Parliament it cannot be used in evidence in court unless authority has been given by Parliament or other specified officers.
In answer to the objections Mr. Lule for the Petitioners sought to rely on a letter written to counsel for Petitioners dated 24/8/1999 by the Clerk of Parliament with an accompanying copy of the Hansard which was in reply to a request for proceedings of Parliament in connection with this Petition. Mr. Kabatsi objected to the admissibility of this letter on the ground that there was no evidence that the clerk had authored that letter under the exceptions in S. 15(1) (Cap. 249).
There is no dispute that the letter was written by the Clerk. At this stage we are not interested in its contents and we therefore see nothing wrong with its admissibility. Whether it was written with the authority of Parliament or by the clerk in his own right or by the Clerk on behalf of the speaker does not fall for decision now. We do not find it necessary to decide on the admissibility of the Hansard at this stage as the question as to whether authority was given to the Honourable Members of Parliament to use the Hansard in evidence will be decided later.
Accordingly we disallow the objection and admit the letter in question.