Court name
Constitutional Court of Uganda
Case number
Constitutional Petition-2003/8
Judgment date
30 March 2004

Fox Odoi - Oywelowo and Anor v Attorney General (Constitutional Petition-2003/8) [2004] UGCC 2 (30 March 2004);

Cite this case
[2004] UGCC 2

 

THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

 

IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF UGANDA

AT KAMPALA

 

 

 

CORAH: HON LADY JUSTICE L.E.M MUKASA-KIKONYOGO, DCJ.
HON MR JUSTICE G.M. OKELLO, JA.

HON MR JUSTICE S. G ENGWAU, JA.

HON MR JUSTICE A. TWINOMUJUNI, JA.

HON LADY JUSTICE C.N.B KTTUMBA, JA.

 

CONSTITUTIONAL PETITION NO 8 OF 2003

 

BETWEEN

 

(1). FOX ODOI - OYWELOWO ]

 

(2) JAMES AKAMPUMUZA ]::::::::::::::::: PETITIONERS

 

 

AND

 

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL :::: ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: RESPONDENT

 

 

 

 

JUDGMENT OF G.M. OKELLO, JA.

The two petitioners, Fox Odoi Oywelowo and James Akampumuza, brought this petition on 17/10/2003 under article 137(3) (a) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and The Modifications To The Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 1992, Directions 1996 (Legal Notice No 4 of 1996). The petition challenges various sections of the Leadership Code Act No 17 of 2002 as being inconsistent with certain articles of the Constitution of the Republic of

 

Uganda. In the petition, the petitioners prayed that this court declared that:-

 

"(a) The application of named sections of the Leadership Code Act renders them inconsistent with the stated various articles of the Constitution.

  1. Certain named sections of the Leadership Code Act are inconsistent with the certain articles of the Constitution.

  2. Costs of the petition."

 

 

The sections of the Leadership Code Act which fail under (a) above are:-

 

Sections 5 (2), 12 (2), 13(4), 14(3) and 35(b) 35(c) & 35 (d). It is alleged that the application of these sections renders them inconsistent with articles:-

 

144, 56, 60(8), 120(7), 146(7)(c), 161(5), 163(10), 165(8), 167(9), 169(9) and 238(5) of the Constitution.

 

The sections of the Leadership Code Act which fail under (b) above are:-

 

Sections:.- 19(1), 20((1) and 35(b) & 35(d). These are alleged to be inconsistent with articles:- 60(8), 146(7)(c), 161(5), 163(10), 165(8), 169(9), 172 & 238(5) of the Constitution.

For ease of reference, I shall reproduce the text of these sections and articles later in the judgement

 

The petition is supported by the affidavits of both petitioners. Affidavit evidence in support of the petition was also supplied by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

 

The Attorney General, the sole respondent herein, filed his answer to the petition. In the answer, he denied that the impugned sections of the Leadership Code Act are or any of them is inconsistent with any or all stated articles of the Constitution. On the contrary, he contended that the petition is incompetent for being filed out of the prescribed time and prayed that it be dismissed. His answer is supported by the affidavit of Mrs Kaahwa Christine, a Senior State Attorney, in the respondent's chambers.

 

At the commencement of the hearing, Mr. Okello Oryem, State Attorney, who appeared with Mrs. Robinna Rwakoojo, Principal State Attorney, for the respondent raised a preliminary point of objection. His objection was based on the ground that the petition was incompetent for violating rule 4(1) of Legal Notice No 4 of 1996.

 

We heard the objection and overruled it but reserved our reasons to be incorporated in this judgement I propose to give my reasons now.

 

Mr. Okello Oryem had contended that the petition was not competently before this court because it was filed out of the time prescribed by rule 4(1) of Legal Notice No 4 of 1996. He stated that the Leadership Code Act came into force on 12/7/2002. Therefore, he argued, the petition should have been filed within 30 days after the date the Act came into force. He submitted that the petition having been filed on 17/10/2003, it was filed a year out of the prescribed period. It was, therefore, time barred and should be dismissed.

 

Mr. Kibeedi did not agree. He contended that the petition was not time barred. He gave three alternative grounds to support his contention.

 

Firstly, that Article 3(4) (a) of the Constitution bestows on the citizens of Uganda a right and duty to defend the Constitution at all times. According to him, that meant that under the Constitution no time limit is set within which a citizen may defend the Constitution. Filing a petition in court, he argued, was one of the means a citizen can defend the Constitution. Rule 4(1), he contended, is therefore, inconsistent with that article 3(4)(a) of the Constitution and the National objective No. 29. He argued that it could not have been the intention of the makers of this Constitution to restrict access by citizens to the Constitutional Court, to defend the Constitution, to only 30 days after the alleged breach. The makers of the Constitution could not have intended that a manifestly unconstitutional Act or acts should remain in force simply because it or they had not been detected or challenged within 30 days after it or they had commenced the breach.

 

In the second alternative ground, Mr. Kibeedi contended that this court has on several occasions earlier pronounced itself in respect of this rule that the computation of the 30 days starts from the date of perception by the petitioner of the alleged breach of the Constitution. He cited the case of Zachary Olum and others Vs Attorney General, Constitutional Petition No 6 of 1999: Attorney General Vs Dr James Rwanyarare and 9 others. Miscellaneous Application No 3 of 2003. Learned counsel wondered why the Attorney General still continued to raise the same point despite those decisions. "He pointed out that on the evidence available, the petitioners in the present petition perceived the alleged breach of the Constitution by the stated provisions of the Leadership Code Act in September, 2003. Specifically, the first petitioner perceived it on 22/9/2003 while the second petitioner did so on 24/9/2003. Then they filed their petition on 17/10/2003. According to him, this was well within the 30 days period.

 

 

In the third alternative, Mr. Kibeedi contended that the word "shall" in rule 4(1) should be construed to be directory rather than mandatory. He relied on the case of Baku Rafael Vs Agard Didi, Election Petition Appeal No 2 of 2002. He submitted that as each case must be decided on its own facts, the circumstances of the instant case dictate that the rule was meant to be directory rather than mandatory. The circumstances he listed are that:-

  1. The Rules are intended to facilitate and ease access to the Constitutional Court and not to block it

  2. No sanction is provided under the Rule for non compliance.

 

In response, Mr. Okello-Oryem submitted with regard to Mr. Kibeedi's first ground above that:-

 

(a) Article 3(4)(a) refers to defence of or resistance against attempts seeking to overthrow the established constitutional order by force of arms.

 

 

(b) The National objective No 29 is not applicable to the
circumstances of this petition.

 

On the second alternative, the principle of perception, Mr. Okello Oryem submitted that each case must be decided on its own peculiar facts. He contended that from the affidavit evidence available, it was untenable that the petitioners perceived the impact of the Leadership Code Act only in September, 2003. In his view, the Attorney General continues to raise this point of objection because it is a point of law. He cited the case of Dr. James Rwanyarare vs Electoral Commission. Constitutional Petition No 11 of 1997. In that case this court held that it was not persuaded that the Constituent Assembly intended to wipe out the rules of procedure but rather to maintain them as hand maids of justice.

 

On alternative No 3, what interpretation to be given to rule 4(1), whether directory or mandatory, Mr. Okello Oryem held the view that the rule is mandatory. He submitted that the case of Baku Rafael (supra) was distinguishable from the instant case on their facts. Learned State Attorney agreed however, that Legal Notice No 4 of 1996 was intended to assist or facilitate the court to dispense justice but not to create road block to justice.

 

He emphasised that rule 4(1) is not unconstitutional and prayed that his objection be upheld.

 

 

Rule 4(1) of Legal Notice No 4 of 1996 provides as follows:­

1. The petition shall be presented by the petitioner by lodging it in person, or, by or "through his or her advocate, if any, named at the foot of the petition, at the office of the Registrar and shall be lodged within thirty days after the date of the breach of the Constitution complained of in the petition."(emphasis added).

 

 

This court had already on several earlier occasions considered this rule and pronounced itself on it In Joyce Nakachwa Vs Attorney General & 2 others. Constitutional Petition No 2 of 2001, this court explained its position on this rule in this way:-

 

"On the issue of limitation, we state from the outset that we appreciate that the thirty days rule has become contentious and controversial. Academically it has arguments in its favour and arguments against However, it was enacted under the authority of an Act of Parliament and until it is successfully challenged in court it remains good law.

 

 

We also acknowledge the fact that this court may appear to have given different interpretations to the meaning and application of the thirty days rule. However, our interpretation of the rule in the case of Zachary Olum and Anor Vs the Attorney General stands. Our decision was arrived at in full knowledge and awareness of our earlier decisions in Rukundo -Vs - Attorney General and Sebagala Vs Attorney General (supra). Each case should be confined to its peculiar facts."

 

 

Each case must be confined appreciated the fact that the thirty days rule is problematic. It further acknowledged that in its infancy the court had adopted an approach to interpret the rule which impacted negatively on the citizens' right to access to the Constitutional Court. It produced restriction rather than encouragement of the enjoyment of that right The court later re-examined itself on the approach to interpretation of that rule in order to mitigate the harmful effect of the earlier approach. Eventually it adopted in Zachary Olum and Anor (supra), a perception principle approach. In Nakachwa (supra), this court stood by that approach.

 

 

Meanwhile, some Justices of the Supreme Court (Oder and Mulenga JJSC) had in Ismail Serugo Vs KCC and Anor, Constitutional Petition Appeal No 2 of 1997 made some observations critical of the effect of application of rule 4 (1) on the right to access to the Constitutional Court According to them, it stifles rather than encourages the enjoyment of the right

 

 

Oder, JSC said:-

 

 

"What needs to be done by the authorities concerned is obvious."

 

Mulenga, JSC said:-

 

 

"The appropriate authority should review that rule to make it more workable and to encourage rather than appear to constrain the culture of constitutionalism."

 

In Nakachwa (supra), this court also added its voice to the above when it said,

 

"We wish to add our voice to that of the Learned Supreme Court Justices (Mulenga, JSC and Oder, JSC) that this rule should be urgently revisited by the appropriate authorities."

 

 

To date the appropriate authorities have not taken any steps towards revisiting the rule yet Having said so much, I wish now to turn to the issues raised by the arguments of counsel of both parties.

 

The first one is the submission of Mr. Kibeedi that rule 4(1) of Legal Notice No 4 of 1996 is inconsistent with article 3(4)(a) of the Constitution.

 

It is important to reproduce the text of the article for ease of reference. It provides:-

 

"All citizens of Uganda shall have the right and duty at all times:-

  1. to defend this Constitution, and in particular to resist any person or group of persons seeking to overthrow the established Constitutional order:

  2. to do all in their power to restore this Constitution after it has been suspended, overthrown, abrogated or amended contrary to its provisions."

 

 

Mr Kibeedi contended that the above article gives the citizens of Uganda the right and duty at ail times to defend the Constitution against any attempt seeking to unconstitutionally suspend, overthrow, abrogate or amend it contrary to its provisions. He pointed out that filing petitions in the Constitutional Court was one of the ways a citizen can exercise that right and duty. He argued that rule 4(1) in restricting the period within which a citizen must file his petition in the Constitutional Court to only 30 days after the breach, was inconsistent with the above article and spirit of the Constitution.

 

This court has had occasion to consider a similar argument earlier in the case of Uganda Association of Women Lawyers and 5 others Vs the Attorney General. Constitutional Petition No 2 of 2003. In that case the Petitioners had challenged the constitutionality of certain sections of the Divorce Act When the petition was called for hearing, like in the instant case, counsel for the respondent raised a point of objection on the ground that the petition was incompetent for being filed outside the period prescribed by rule 4(1). In his leading judgment, Twinomujuni JA said,

"I am aware that the Attorney General has argued elsewhere that article 3(4) of the Constitution only applies when the Constitution is threatened or has been violated through physical violence. With respect I do not see any justification in giving the article such a narrow interpretation. The people of Uganda have a right and duty at all times using all means available, peaceful or violent,

Constitutional or unconstitutional to resist attempts to unconstitutionally :-

 

- Suspend, overthrow, abrogate or amend the Constitution.

 

 

The phrase 'amendment of the Constitution' has been considered by the Supreme Court in their recent decision in Paul Ssemogerere and others Vs Attorney General, Constitutional Appeal No 1 of 2002.

 

 

In a leading judgement, Kanyeihamba JSC held that-

 

If an Act of Parliament has the effect of adding to, varying or repealing any provision of the Constitution, then the Act is said to have amended the affected article of the Constitution. There is no deference whether the Act is an ordinary Act of Parliament or an Act intended to amend the Constitution. The amendment may be effected expressly, by implication or by

infection as long as the result is to add to, vary or repeal a provision of the (Constitution. It is not material whether the amending Act States categorically that the Act is intended to affect a specified provision of the Constitution. It is the effect of the amendment that matters.

Parliament but the holding equally applies to a subsidiary legislation or any other act or omission. To the extent that rule 4(1) of Legal Notice No 4 of 1996 imposes restrictions to the right of access to the Constitutional Court, which the Constitution itself does not provide for, it is seeking to add to and or vary the Constitution and therefore to amend it without doing so through the amendment provisions of the Constitution. It is dearly against the spirit of the Constitution and it is high time this court restored, in full, the citizens' right to access to the Constitutional Court by declaring that the rule is in conflict with the Constitution and is therefore null and void. I would so declare."

 

 

I and the other three Justices on the panel agreed with that view of Justice Twinomujuni, JA. That is, therefore the latest stance of this court now in respect of rule 4(1) of Legal Notice No 4 of 1996. I still stand by it and this was the reason I greed to overrule the preliminary objection. Having found as above, I shall not consider the other alternative grounds advanced by Mr. Kibeedi.

 

I now turn to consider the merits of the petition itself. The issues that were agreed upon for determination of the court are:-

 

"(1) Whether sections 5(2), 12(2), 13(4), 14(3) and 35(b) (c) and (d) of the Leadership Code Act No 17 of 2002 are inconsistent with Articles 144, 56, 60(8), 120(7)

146(7)(c), 161 (5), 161 (5),165(8), 167(9), 169(9) and

238(5) of the Constitution.

  1. Whether sections 19(1), 20(1) and 35(b) and (d) of the Leadership Code Act are inconsistent with Articles:-60(8), 146(7)(c), 161(5), 163(10), 165(8), 169(9), 172 and 238(5) of the Constitution.

  2. What remedies are available to the petitioners."

 

 

Article 137(3) of the Constitution empowers any person who alleges that:-

 

(a) An Act of parliament or any other law or anything in or done under the authority of any law; or

(b)

is inconsistent with or in contravention of a provision of this Constitution, to petition the Constitutional Court for a declaration to that effect and for a redress where appropriate."

The petitioners herein have brought this petition under this article. Our task here is to determine the constitutionality of the - impugned sections of the Leadership Code Act Clause (1) of article 137 gives this court the power to do so. The Clause provides:-

"Any question as to the interpretation of this Constitution Constitutional Court."

 

Various principles have over the years been evolved to carry out the task of determining constitutionality of a legislation or acts or omission of an authority. "Purpose and Effects" is one of such principles. It was involved in The Queen v Big Drug Mart Ltd (others intervening)1996 LRC (Const)332. In that case the Canadian Supreme Court was determining the constitutionality of the Lords Day Act That Act prohibited sales of goods on Sundays. It was argued that only the effects of the Act was relevant to determine its constitutionality.

 

In rejecting that argument, the Canadian Chief Justice said,

 

"In my view, both purpose and effects are relevant in determining constitutionality; either unconstitutional purpose or unconstitutional effect can invalidate legislation."

That meant that if the purpose of an Act is inconsistent with a provision of the Constitution, the Act shall be declared unconstitutional. Similarly, if the effect of implementing a provision of the Act is inconsistent with a provision of the Constitution, that provision of the Act shall be declared unconstitutional. The reason is that the Constitution is supreme as provided by article 2(2) which reads:-

 

"If any other law or custom is inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail, and that other law or custom shall to the extent of the inconsistency, be void"

 

 

The principle in The Queen v Big Drug Mart (supra) was cited with approval by the Supreme Court of Uganda in Attorney General - Vs -Salvatori Abuki, Constitutional Appeal No 1 of 1998; Paul K. Ssemogerere and 2 others Vs AG, Constitutional Appeal Mo 1 of 2002 (SC). Kyamanywa vs Uganda, Constitutional Reference No 16 of 1996, a reference from the Supreme Court, was one of the cases in which this court applied that principle. In that reference, this court was considering the constitutionality of corporal punishment in view of article 24 of the Constitution. This article prohibits subjecting any person to any form of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

 

I, therefore, propose to adopt the same principle to determine the constitutionality of the impugned sections of the Leadership Code Act

 

 

I reproduce herebelow in extenso, the text of the impugned sections of the Leadership Code Act and Articles of the Constitution allegedly violated by these sections for ease of reference. They are:-

 

 

" 5(2) - A leader who, without reasonable cause, tails to comply with the Inspector General's request

 

 

Notice, commits a breach of this Code and is liable

  1. a warning; or

  2. dismissal; or

  3. vacation of office.

12(2) - A leader who contravenes subsection (1) breaches this Code and is liable to:-

  1. vacate office; or

  2. be dismissed from office.

 

 

13(4) - Not withstanding the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, a leader who knowingly missuses or allows public property entrusted to his or her care to be misused or abused or left unprotected may, in addition to the sanctions under that subsection be:-

  1. warned or cautioned;

  2. demoted; or

(c) dismissed from office.

 

 

14(3) A leader who contravenes the provisions of this section commits a breach of this Code and is liable to:-

 

 

(a) be warned or cautioned;

  1. demotion; or

  2. vacate office.

 

 

35 A leader who commits a breach of this code shall:

  1. in the case of a breach under subsection (7) of section 4, have the excess or undeclared property confiscated and forfeited to the Government;

  2. in the case of a breach under subsections (6) and (8) of section 4, be dismissed from or shall vacate office;

  3. in the case of a breach under subsection (6) of section 10, be liable to:-

(i) forfeit the benefit equivalent to the gift, hospitality or benefit, to the Government or institution and shall stand warned;

(ii) be warned in writing; or

 

(d) in the case of breach under sections 8(3), 9(4), 11, 15(6) and 16 be liable to dismissal or shall vacate office.

 

19(1) - Upon the completion of an inquiry under section 18, the Inspector General shall communicate his or her decision in his or her report to the authorised person with a copy to the person in breach of this code and require the authorised person to implement his or her decision.

 

20(1):- - Upon receipt of a report under section 19 containing a finding of a breach of this code, the authorised person shall effect the decision of the Inspector General in writing within sixty days after receipt of the report-"

The articles of the Constitution alleged to be violated by the above sections are couched as follows:-

 

"144(2):- A judicial officer may be removed from office only for:-

(a) initially to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of body or mind;

(b) misbehaviour or misconduct;

(c) incompetence;

 

 

but only in accordance with the provisions of this article.

 

 

(3) The President shall remove a Judicial Officer if the question of his or her removal has been referred to tribunal appointed under clause (4) of this article and the tribunal has recommended to the President that he or she ought to be removed from office on any ground described in clause (2) of this article.

 

 

(4) The question whether the removal of a judicial officer should be investigated shall be referred to the President by either the Judicial Service Commission or Cabinet with advice that the President should appoint a tribunal; and the President shall then appoint a tribunal consisting of:-

(a) in the case of the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice or the Principal Judge, five persons who are or have been Justices of the Supreme Court or are or have been judges of a Court having similar jurisdiction or who are advocates of at least twenty years standing; or

  1. in the case of a Justice of the Supreme Court or a Justice of Appeal, three persons who are or have been Justices of the Supreme Court or who are or have been judges of a court of similar jurisdiction or who are advocates of at least fifteen years standing; or

  2. in the case of a judge of the High Court, three persons who are or have held office as Judges of a Court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from such a court or who are advocates of a least ten years standing

 

 

(5)

(6)

(7) For the purposes of this article, 'judicial officer' means the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice, the Principal Judge, a Justice of the Supreme Court, a Justice of Appeal or a judge of the High Court

56;- The provisions of this Constitution relating to the removal of a judge of the High Court from office shall, with the necessary modifications, apply to the removal from office of a member of the Commission, (this refers to the removal of a member of the Uganda Human Rights Commission.)

 

60(8):- A member of the commission may be removed from office by the President only for:- (this refers to the removal of a member of Electoral Commission.)

 

(a) inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising out of physical or mental incapacity;

  1. misbehaviour or misconduct; or

  2. incompetence

 

 

120(7):- The Director of Public Prosecutions shall have the same terms and conditions of service as those of a High Court Judge.

146(7)(c):- Subject to the provisions of this article, a member of the Judicial Service Commission shall vacate his or her office:-

 

 

(a) at the expiration of four years from the date of his or her appointment but is eligible for re-appointment for one more term; or

  1. if he or she is elected or appointed to any office determined by Parliament to be likely to compromise the independence of the Judicial Service Commission;

  2. On being removed by the President but the President may only remove a member for inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of body or mind or for misbehaviour, misconduct or incompetence.

 

 

161(5) The Governor, the Deputy Governor or any other member of the Board may be removed from office by the President only for:- (this refers to the removal of Governor etc of Bank of Uganda)

 

(a) inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of body or mind; or

  1. misbehaviour or misconduct; or

  2. incompetence.

163(10):- The Auditor General may be removed from office by the President only for:-

  1. inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of body or mind; or

  2. misbehaviour or misconduct; or

  3. incompetence

 

 

165(8):- A member of the Commission may be removed from office by the President only for:- (this refers to the removal of a member of the Public Service Commission)

  1. inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of body or mind; or

  2. misbehaviour or misconduct; or

  3. incompetence

 

169(9):- A member of the Commission may be removed from office by the President only for:- (this refers to the Health Service Commission)

 

 

(a) inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of body or mind; or

  1. misbehaviour or misconduct; or

  2. incompetence.

172(1):- Subject to the provisions of this constitution

 

(a) The President may acting in accordance with the advice of the Public Service Commission, the Education Service Commission, as the case may be, appoint persons to hold or act in any office in the Public Service of Uganda at the rank of Head of Department or above other than those referred to in article 200 of this Constitution, including confirmation of appointment, the exercise of disciplinary control over such persons and their removal from office:

 

 

(b) The Public Service Commission, the Education Service Commission or the Health Service Commission, as the case may be, may appoint persons to hold or act in any office in the Public

Service of Uganda other than those referred to in paragraph (a) of this clause and in article 200 of this Constitution, including the confirmation of their appointments and the exercise of disciplinary control over such persons and their removal from office:

 

 

(2) Except with the consent of the President, no person shall be appointed under this article to act in any office on the personal staff of the President

 

 

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the President may delegate any of his or her powers under this article by directions in writing, to any Service Commission or to any other authority or Public Office as may be prescribed by Parliament and may in like manner revoke the delegation.

 

 

238(5):- A member of the Commission may be removed from office by the President only for:- (this deals with Uganda Lands Commission)

  1. inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of body or mind;

  2. misbehaviour or misconduct; or

  3. incompetence"

Before I embark on considering the above issues, it is worthwhile pointing out that the evidence before us is not contentious. His Excellency, Yoweri K. Museveni, The President of the Republic of Uganda, deponed to the advice given to him by the IGG about the President's power in the implementation of the IGG's decisions under the Leadership Code.

According to the President the advice was that under the Leadership Code Act, the President does not have a choice but to implement the decisions of the IGG as given. As a result the President relieved a Presidential Advisor of his duties solely on that advice. This evidence was not rebutted. The petitioners deponed to the fact that the named sections of the Leadership Code Act were inconsistent with the stated articles of the Constitution. This was refuted by the affidavit evidence of Kaahwa Christine.

 

On issue No 1, Mr. Kibeedi, learned counsel for the petitioners, contended that sections 5(2), 12(2), 13(4), 14(3) and 35(b) (c) and (d) of the Leadership Code Act No. 17 of 2002 are inconsistent with articles 144, 56 60(8), 120(7), 146(7)(c), 161(5), 163(10), 165(8), 167(9), 169(9) and 238(5) of the Constitution. He pointed out correctly, in my view, that each of those articles provides for removal from office of the holders of the relevant constitutionally established offices. He submitted that these articles provide exclusive causes for removal from office of the holders of those offices by the use of the word "only". He complained that the impugned sections of the Leadership Code Act provide different/additional causes for removal from office of the holders of those constitutionally established offices. In counsel's view, the provision by those sections of additional causes for removal from office of those officers is inconsistent with those articles of the Constitution. He argued that the makers of the Constitution intended exclusive causes as listed in those articles for removal from office of those officers.

 

Mr Okello Oryem, did not agree. He contended that the impugned provisions of the Leadership Code Act are not inconsistent with the stated articles of the Constitution. He argued that the framers of the Constitution were concerned about the conduct and behaviours of the leaders who hold those Public Offices established under the Constitution. They wanted those leaders to be accountable and loyal to Uganda. That was why, Mr. Okello argued, the framers set out in the Constitution misconduct or misbehaviours as one of the grounds for removal of the holders from office. That was, he asserted, intended to fortify against misconduct by public officers who hold such offices.

 

Mr. Okello Oryem further submitted that the impugned provisions of the Leadership Code Act relate to misconduct or misbehaviours which are contained in the stated articles of the Constitution. According to him, the impugned sections have not introduced new causes for removal of the holders from offices. They are, therefore, not inconsistent with those articles of the Constitution, he concluded.

 

As pointed out earlier in this judgement, "purpose and effect" are relevant for determining constitutionality of a legislation or of its provisions or of an act or omission of an authority. In the instant case, the purpose of the Leadership Code Act No 17 of 2002 is stated in its long title as:-

 

"An Act to provide for a minimum standard of behaviour and conduct for leaders; to require leaders to declare their incomes, assets and liabilities; to put in place an effective enforcement mechanism and to provide for other related matters."

 

 

There is no complaint that the purpose of the Act is inconsistent with any article of the Constitution. I also do not find it to be so. All the staled articles of the Constitution provide for causes for removal from office of the holders. The common thread that runs through all these articles is the word "only". This qualifies the listed causes for removal from office of the holders. The causes in all these articles include "misconduct or misbehaviour." One or two examples will clarify my point: -

 

Article 144(2) provides:-

" A judicial officer may be removed from office only for

 

(a) inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of body or mind; or

  1. misbehaviour or misconduct; or

  2. incompetence;

but only in accordance with the provisions of this article

163(10):- The Auditor General may be removed from office by the President only for :-

 

 

(a) inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of body or mind; or

(b) misbehaviour or misconduct; or

(c) incompetence."

 

 

It will be noted that in article 144(2) the word "only" is used twice. The first one is to qualify the causes for removal. In my view, by use of the first 'only' in article 144(2), the framers of the Constitution must have intended to restrict the causes for removal of those officers to those listed in the Constitution. This equally applies to articles 56, 60(8), 120(7), 146(7)(c), 161(5), 163(10) 165(8), 167(9), 169(9) and 238(5). I shall revert to the use of the second "only" in article 144(2) later in this judgment

 

 

Mr. Okello Oryem submitted that the impugned sections of the Leadership Code Act introduced no new causes but only stated sample of misconduct or misbehaviour which are already listed in those articles. It is to be noted that neither the Constitution nor the Leadership Code Act has defined the term "Misconduct or Misbehaviour." However, Black Law Dictionary 6th Edition defines "Misconduct" as

 

"A transgression of some established and definite rule of action, a forbidden act, a dereliction from duty, unlawful behaviour, wilful in character, improper or wrong behaviour; its synonyms are misdemeanor, misdeed, misbehaviour, delinquency, impropriety, mismanagement, offense but not negligence or carelessness."

 

Misbehaviour:-

support contempt conviction is conduct inappropriate to particular role of actor, be he judge, juror, party, witness, counsel or spectator."

 

Misconduct, therefore, connotes wilful transgression of some established and definite rule of action. For instance, failure of a leader without reasonable cause to comply with the Inspector General's request for clarification within thirty days after receipt of notice (S.5(2), or a leader, a leader's spouse, agent or private company etc in which the leader, his spouse etc has controlling interest seeks, accepts or holds a contract with any government or public body which the leader controls or directly participates in the decision making of its affairs (S. 12(2)}, would constitute misconduct Similarly, a leader who knowingly misuses or allows public property entrusted to his or her care to be misused or abused or left unprotected (S.13(4)} or who fails to declare a donation or gift worth over five currency point made to him at a function where he had represented Government or an institution (S.35(c)} would be a transgression of section 10(6). That would constitute misconduct

It is clear to me that sections 5(2), 12(2), 13(4), 14(3) and 35(c) do not create any new causes for removal from office different from those contained in articles 144, 56, 60(8), 120(7), 146(7)(c), 161(5), 163(10), 165(8), 167(9), 169(9) and 238(5) of the (Constitution. I agree with Mr. Okello Oryem that the causes stated in these sections amount to nothing more than misconduct or misbehaviour. They are already contained in these articles of the Constitution. They are accordingly not inconsistent with those articles of the Constitution.

 

 

I had promised to revert to the use of the second "only" in article 144(2). This qualifies the procedure to be followed in effecting the removal from office of a judicial officer. That meant that the procedure to be followed in removing a judicial officer from office is limited to that provided in the article. No other procedure is permissible. That must have been the intention of the makers of this Constitution.

 

It is interesting to note that the procedure for implementing the decisions of the Inspector General under the Leadership Code Act by the authorised person is laid down in Sections 19(1) and 20(1) read together. Under that procedure, the Inspector General submits his decision to the authorised person (in this case the President) in a report under section 19(1). On receipt of that report, the President under section 20(1) must implement the decision in the report, in writing, within 60 days after receipt of it He has no discretion in the matter. This procedure applies to the implementation of the IGG's decision in relation to sections 35(b) and (d). Clearly, this procedure is inconsistent with that laid down in article 144. The procedure under article 144 requires that a tribunal be appointed to investigate the question of removal of a judicial officer from office. The question of appointment of the investigating tribunal is to be referred to the President by a specific body. Even the constitution of that tribunal must conform to the provision of the article. It is only when the tribunal recommends a removal that the President can proceed to effect the removal of a judicial officer. This is the only procedure which the makers of the Constitution

intended to be used for removing a judicial officer from office. The reason is to entrench the independence of the judiciary which is essential to build democracy.

 

 

The procedure laid down in article 144 applies to article 56 for the removal of a member of the Human Right Commission and article 120(7), the removal of the Director of Public Prosecutions. It follows therefore that sections 19(1) and 20(1) and sections 35(b) & (d) are inconsistent with articles 144, 56 and 120(7) of the Constitution for introducing a new procedure for removal of a judicial officer from office.

 

 

This now brings me to issue No 2 which is whether sections 19(1), 20(1) and 35(b) & 35(d) of the Leadership Code Act are inconsistent with articles 60(8), 146(7)(c), 161(5), 163(10), 165(8), 167(9), 169(9), 172 and 238(5) of the Constitution. Mr. Kibeedi contended that each of those articles gives the President discretion in deciding the removal from office of the holders of those offices. He submitted that sections 19(1), 20(1) and 35(b) and 35(d) take away the discretion granted to the President by the above articles of the Constitution in effecting the decisions of the Inspector General to remove from office the holders of such offices. In counsel's view, those sections are inconsistent with those articles of the Constitution.

Mr. Okello Oryem disagreed.

 

 

The text of these articles are reproduced earlier in this judgement They are couched in a similar manner so as to give to President, the appointing authority, discretion in exercising disciplinary control over the officers. One or two examples will help to drive home my point:-

 

Articles 60(8) provides:-

"A member of the Commission maybe removed from office by the President only for:- (Electoral Commission)

(a) inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising out of physical or mental incapacity.

(b) misbehaviour or misconduct; or

(c) incompetence.

 

Article 169(9);- A member of the Commission may be removed from office by the President only for:- (Health Service Commission)

  1. inability to perform the functions of his or "her office arising from infirmity of body or mind; or

  2. misbehaviour or misconduct; or

  3. incompetence" (emphasis added)

 

 

Article 60(8) deals with the removal from office of a member of the Electoral Commission; while article 169(9) refers to the removal of a member of the Health Service Commission. All the others deal with the power of removal from office of members of other Service Commissions. The wordings of the articles are similar. They are clear They give the President discretion to remove a member of those Commissions. That was the intention of the makers of the Constitution.

 

 

Article 172 was not included in the petition but was inserted at the time of framing the issues. The respondent did not object to its inclusion, rightly in my view. Clause 1(a) of article 172 falls in category(b) of paragraph 4 of the petition. It gives the President discretion to exercise disciplinary control (removal) over officers appointed under that clause.

 

 

Sections 19(1) and 20(1) read together lay down a procedure which the authorised person, must adopt to implement the decisions of the Inspector General of Government under the Leadership Code Act Under this procedure, section 19(1) enjoins the Inspector General to communicate his decision in a report to the authorised person (in the instant case to the President). Section 20(1) in turn enjoins the President to implement the decision of the Inspector General contained in the report in writing and must do so within 60 days from receipt of the report. The President has no discretion in the matter. In his affidavit, H.E The President stated that he relieved Major Ronald Kakooza Mutale of his duties solely and exclusively on the basis of the recommendation of the IGG not for any other reason. He had the impression that all the correct legal principles and procedures had been fulfilled and all steps taken to ensure that he could get fair treatment according to natural justice. The effect of application of these sections is in my view, inconsistent with those articles of the (Constitution -because they fetter the discretion accorded to the President under the Constitution in the question of removal of the members of those Service (Commission.

 

 

Similarly, section 35(b) and 35(d) as we have seen earlier are also couched in a mandatory term. They leave no room for discretion by the President in the matter. Their application is dearly inconsistent with those articles of the Constitution.

This now leads me to issue No. 3.

This issue is about remedies available to the petitioners.

In paragraph 4 of their petition, the petitioners sought the following reliefs:-

 

(a) A declaration that application of sections 5(2), 12(2), 13(4), 14(3) and 35(b) (c) and (d) of the Leadership Code Act No 17 of 2002 renders them inconsistent with articles

144, 56, 60(8), 120(7), 146(7)(c), 161(5), 163(10), 165(8), 167(9), 169(9) and 238(5) of the Constitution in removal from office of the respective holders.

 

(b) A declaration that sections 19(1), 20(1) and 35(b) and 35(d) of the Leadership Code Act No 17 of 2002 are inconsistent with articles:-

60(8), 146(7)(c), 161(5), 163(10), 165(8), 169(9) and 238(5) of the Constitution in as far as they fetter the discretion of the President in the removal of given office bearer from their respective offices.

(c) Costs of petition.

 

 

Following my above findings, I would substantially allow the petition and would make the following declarations.

 

(a)(i) Sections 5(2), 12(2), 13(4), 14(3) and 35 of the Leadership Code Act No 17 of 2002 are not inconsistent with articles: 144, 56, 60(8), 120(7), 146(7)(c), 161(5), 163(10), 165(8), 167(9), 169(9) and 238(5) of the Constitution.

 

(b)(i) Sections 19(1), 20(1) and 35(b) & (d) are inconsistent with articles 144, 56 & 120(7) in that they create distinct procedures for removal from offices from that provided in those articles.

(ii) Sections 19(1), 20(1), 35(b) & 35(d) are inconsistent with articles: 60(8), 146(7)(c), 161(5), 163(10), 165(8), 167(9), 169(9) 172(1)(a) & 238(5) in that they fetter the discretion provided to the President by those articles.

 

 

 

 

(d) On costs, Section 27 of the Civil Procedure Act provides to the effect that costs follow the event unless for good reasons the trial judge decides otherwise. I have no reason to deny the successful party his costs. I would therefore, order the respondent to pay the petitioners' costs of the petition.

 

 

JUDGEMENT OF L.E.M. MUKASA-KIKONYOGO, DCJ

 

This petition is filed by Fox Odoi Oywebowo and James Akampumuza hereafter to be referred to as the petitioners. The petitioners are seeking the following:-

 

a) declaration that the application of sections 5 (2) 12 (2) 13 (4) 14 (3) and 35 (b), 35 (c) and 35, (d) of the Leadership Code Act No.17 of 2002 renders them inconsistent with Articles 144, 56, 60 (8), 120 (7), 146 (7) (c), 161 (5), 163 (10), 165 (8), 167 (9), 169 (9), and 238 (5) of the Constitution in their application to vacation of office by respective office holders.

b) a declaration that sections 19 (1), 20 (1) and 35 (b) and 35 (d) of the Leadership Code Act No. 17 of 2002 are inconsistent with Articles 60 (8), 146 (7) (c), 161 (5), 163 (10), 168 (8), 169 (9) and 238 (5) of the Constitution in so far as they fetter the discretion of the President in the removal of given office bearers from their respective offices.

c) order for costs.

The petition is supported by the affidavits sworn by the petitioners and the President of the Republic of Uganda.

Three issues were agreed upon by the parties and read as follows:-

  1. Whether sections 5 (2), 12 (2), 13 (4), 14 (3), and 35 (b), 35 (c) and 35 (d) of the Leadership Code Act No. 17 of 2002 are inconsistent with Articles 144, 56, 60 (8), 120 (7) (c), 161 (5), 163 (10), 165 (8), 167 (9), 169 (9) and 238 (5) of the Constitution.

  2. Whether sections 19 (1), 20 (1) and 35 (b) and 35 (d) of the Leadership Code are inconsistent with Articles 146 (7) (c), 161 (5), 163 (10), 165 (8), 169 (9), 172 and 238 of the Constitution.

  3. Remedies.

The petitioners are represented by Mr. Kibedi whilst the Attorney General, the respondent, was represented by Mrs. Rwakojo Robinah assisted by Mr. Okello Oryem S.A. When the petition was brought before court, Mr. Okello Oryem raised a preliminary issue based on time limitation provided under Rule 4 (1) of Legal Notice No. 4 of 1996 which reads as follows:-

(1) The petition shall be presented by the petitioner by lodging it in person, or, by or through his or her advocate, if any, named at the foot of the petition at the office of the Registrar and shall be lodged within thirty days after the date of the breach of the Constitution complained of in the petition"

 

Upon listening to the submissions and arguments advanced by both learned counsel, court overruled the objection but deferred the reasons. I had the benefit of reading in draft the judgement 20 prepared by Okello G.M., J.A and I agree with the reasons he gave, on the issue of limitation. I also agree with him that the petition substantially succeeds. I do not have much to add but I will make some comments on some issues by way of emphasis.

 

 

On the preliminary point of law, it was contended by Mr. Okello that the petition was time barred because it was filed out of the thirty days prescribed by Rule 4 (1) of Legal Notice No. 4 of 1996. It was, incompetent. As clearly indicated in the judgement of Okello J.A, this court has in a number of cases 30 considered and pronounced itself on that matter. He ably dealt with it. It will suffice for me to say that the stand of this court is, that Rule 4 (1), supra, is unconstitutional as it contravenes Article 3(4) of the Constitution which reads as follows:-

 

" (4) All citizens of Uganda shall have the right and duty at all times-

(a) to defend this Constitution and in particular, to resist any person or group or person seeking to overthrow the established constitutional order: and

(b) See also the recent case of this court-"Uganda Association of Women Lawyers and Others versus the Attorney General, Constitutional Petition No. 2 of 2003".

 

 

On the merits of the petition I agree with the views, findings, by 20 Okello J.A. and the proposed orders. I, therefore, will make only a few comments. The main issues to be determined by this court in this petition is whether some of the powers conferred on the Inspectorate of Government by the Leadership Code Act 2002 are inconsistent with and in contravention of the above mentioned Articles of the Constitution. The petition was filed under Articles 137 of the Constitution and is challenging the constitutionality of the above mentioned provisions of the Leadership Code Act. The petitioners are relying on Articles 2 of the Constitution which states as follows:-

 

 

 

"This Constitution is the Supreme Law of Uganda and shall have binding force on all authorities and persons through out Uganda.

 

 

2. If any other Law or any custom is inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail and the other Law or custom shall to the extent of the inconsistency, be void".

 

 

I now propose to briefly comment on the issues agreed upon by the parties. It is not disputed that under Article 225 of the Constitution the IGG is given powers to supervise the enforcement of the Leadership Code Act. Article 225 (1) provides 20 inter alia as follows:-

 

"the functions of the Inspectorate of Government shall be prescribed by Parliament and shall include:-

  1. To promote and foster strict adherence to the Rule of Law and principles of natural justice in administration.

  2. To eliminate and foster the elimination of corruption, abuse of authority and of public office.

c)

30 d) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, to

supervise the enforcement of the leadership Code of conduct

e)

f)

The aforementioned powers notwithstanding under Article 2 of the Constitution (supra) the Constitution remains supreme. It follows, therefore, that powers exercised by the IGG in excess of those given to him or her by the Constitution are inconsistent 10 with and in contravention of the Constitution and consequently would be null and void.

 

 

On the first issue, Mr. Kibedi, argued that the sections 5 (2) 12 (2) 13 (4) and 35 (b) (c) and (d) of the Leadership Code Act are inconsistent with Articles 144, 56, 60 (8), 120 (7), 146 (7) (c), 161 (5), 163 (10), 165 (8), 167 (9), 169 (9) and 238 (5) of the Constitution. The main complaint was that the impugned sections of The Leadership Code provide different or additional causes for removal of office bearers appointed under the Constitution. In agreement with Justice Okello, J.A and Twinomujuni, J.A the following sections of the Leadership Code namely 5 (2), 12 (2), 13 (4), 14 (3) and 35 (b) do not create new grounds for removal or dismissal of leaders beyond those mentioned in the Constitution. There is no specific procedure envisaged by the Constitution for removal of officers appointed under the aforesaid Articles of the Constitution by the appointing authority. However, with regard to leaders appointed under Articles 144, of 56, 120 (7) of the Constitution, Human Rights Commissioner and DPP the story is different. Articles 144 (2) provides as follows:-

 

 

"A judicial officer may be removed from office only for

  1. Inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of body or mind

  2. misbehavior or misconduct

  3. incompetence

but only in accordance with provisions of this Article.

  1. The President shall remove a judicial officer if the question of his or her removal has been referred to a tribunal appointed under clause (4) of this Article and the tribunal has recommended to the President that he or she ought to be removed form office on any ground described in clause 2 of this Article.

  2. The question whether removal of a judicial officer should be investigated shall be referred to the President by either the Judicial Service Commission or the Cabinet with advice that the President should appoint a tribunal and the President shall then appoint a tribunal consisting of ...

a)

b)

c) In the case of a Judge of the High Court, three persons who are or have held office as Judges of court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from such a court or who are advocates of at least ten years standing".

 

 

Clearly on the aforesaid laid down procedure, the impugned provisions of the Leadership Code are not applicable to Judicial Officers appointed under Article 144 and leaders to whom Articles 56 and (120) (7) are applicable. -

 

Similarly Article 56, provides as follows:-

"The provisions of the Constitution relating to the removal of a Judge of the High Court from office shall with the necessary modifications apply to the removal from office of a member of the

Commission".

Article 120 (7) provides as follows:-

"The Director of Public Prosecutions shall have the same terms and conditions of service as those of a High Court Judge".

 

 

In the aforesaid cases the Constitution lays down a specific mode of removal. The use of the word "Only" restricts the stated term of the Constitution. In the premises the sections of the Leadership Code complained of by the petitioners contravene Articles 144, 56 and 120 (7) of the Constitution.

Further in addition to the above category where the mode of the removal of a leader is specifically laid down, there are also cases where the appointing Authority, in particular, the President is given discretionary powers to remove or dismiss a leader or official or not.

 

It was, for instant , contended by counsel for the petitioners that Article 60 (8) of the Constitution which makes provisions for the removal of members of Electoral Commission, gives the President

such a discretion. The President has the final say. Article 60 (8) reads a follows :-

(8) A member of the Commission may be removed from

office by the President only for-

a) inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising out of physical or mental incapacity;

  1. misbehavior or misconduct; or

  2. incompetence.

 

 

The President or appointing authority may choose not to remove the leader but take other action. On the contrary the Leadership Code makes removal or dismissal mandatory. Section 18 (1) of LC. reads as follows:-

 

 

"Upon receipt of a complaint under subsection (1) of this section, the Inspectorate shall inquire into, or cause the complaint to be inquired into if satisfied that-

  1. the complaint is not trivial or frivolous and is not made in bad faith;

  2. the subject matter of the complaint is not outside the jurisdiction of the Inspectorate".

 

 

Section 19 (1) of the Leadership Code provides as follows:-

 

 

"Upon the completion of an inquiry under section 18, the Inspector General shall communicate his or her decision in his or her report to the authorized person with a copy to the to the person in breach of this Code

 

Section 20 (1) states as follows:-

" 1. Upon receipt of a report under section 19 containing a finding of a breach of this Code, the authorised person shall effect the decision of the Inspector General in writing within sixty days after receipt of the report.

2. The authorized person shall report to the Inspector General in writing within fourteen days after the expiration of the sixty days referred to in subsection (1) of this section, the action taken by him or her.

3. A person dismissed, removed from office, or convicted 20 for a breach of this Code shall not hold any other public office whether appointive or elective for five years effective from the date of dismissal or removal".

 

For the aforesaid reasons I agree with my learned brothers are sister that sections 19 (1) 20 (1), 35 (b) and section 35 (d) of the Leadership Code Act are inconsistent with and contravene the stated Articles of the Constitution. Clearly from the above mentioned sections the appointing officer usually, the President of Uganda whom counsel for the petitioners described as the 30 fountain of honour has no choice but to comply with the report of the IGG. The Leadership Code Act stripped him of his discretionary powers conferred on him by various Articles of the Constitution. In short where a specific mode of removal or where the appointing authority is given a discretion by the Constitution, the impugned sections of the Leadership Code are inconsistent and contravene the Constitution. However, where no specific mode of removal is laid down and where the President's discretionary powers are not restricted there is no contravention of the Constitution.

 

On the other hand where the provisions of the law purport to amend "or restrict "the" powers of the appointing authority as shown by the affidavit of H.E The President in support of this petition, the said provisions of the law would be inconsistent and in contravention of the above stated articles of the Constitution. In the Kakooza Mutale removal from his office, The President deponed that he had no choice but to comply with the recommended action contained in the report of the IGG, yet the Constitution confers on him discretionary powers as to the action he could take against Kakooza Mutale, the leader recommended for removal.

 

In the result all the provisions of the Leadership Code, purporting to amend, Articles to introduce or add new procedures and those which restrict the discretionary powers of the President to that extent are unconstitutional . In agreement with my learned brothers and sister on this Coram, by a unanimous decision of this court this petition substantially succeeds. It is hereby declared as follows :-

 

(1) Sections 5 (2), 12 (2), 13(4), 14 (3) and 35 of the Leadership Code Act are not inconsistent and in contravention of Article 144, 56, 60 (8), 120 (7), 146 (7) (c), 161 (5), 163 (10), 165 (8), 167 (9), 169 (9) and 238 (5) of the Constitution of Uganda.

(2) Sections (19) (1), 20 (1), 35 (h), and 35 (d) are inconsistent with articles 144, 56, and 120 (7) in that they create distinct procedures for removal from that provided in the said articles.

(3) Sections 19 (1), 20 (1) 35 (b) and 35 (d) are inconsistent with Articles 60 (8), 146 (7) (c), 161 (5), 163 (10), 165 (8) 167 (9), 169 (9), 172 (1) (a) and 238 (5) of Constitution in that they restrict the discretion given to the President by the said articles of the Constitution.

 

 

JUDGMENT OF S.G. ENGWAU. JA.

 

The petitioners, Fox Odoi-Oywelowo and James Akampumuza, have brought this petition under article 137 (3) (a) of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda and The modifications To The Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 1992, Directions 1996 (Legal Notice No. 4 of 1996). The petitioners are challenging the application of the following sections of the Leadership Code Act as being inconsistent with the following articles of the Constitution:

 

(i) that sections 5(2), 12(2), 13(4), 14(3) and 35(b), (c) & (d) of the Leadership Code Act are inconsistent with articles 56, 60(8), 120(7), 144, 146 (7) (c), 161 (5), 163 (10), 165 (8), 167 (9), 169 (9) and 238 (5) of the Constitution.

 

(ii) that sections 19 (1), 20 (1), 35(b) and (d) of the Leadership Code Act are inconsistent with Articles 60 (8), 146 (7) (c), 161 (5), 163 (10), 165 (8), 169 (9) and 238 (5) of the Constitution.

The petitioners were represented by Mr. Kibeedi Muzamiru while the respondent was represented by Ms. Robinna Rwakoojo, Principal State Attorney being assisted by Mr. Okello Oryem, State Attorney. At the commencement of the hearing of the petition, Mr. Okello Oryem raised a preliminary point of objection. The objection was that the petition is incompetent on the ground that it is time barred. He based the objection 10 under rule 4 (1) of Legal Notice No. 4 of 1996 which

 

 

" 4. (1) The petition shall be presented by the petitioner by lodging it in person, or, by or through his or her advocate, if any, named at the foot of the petition, at the office of the Registrar and shall be lodged within thirty days after the date of the breach of the Constitution complained of in 20 the petition."

 

According to Mr. Okello Oryem, under that rule the petition must be lodged in court within thirty days. He argued that as this petition seeks to challenge the constitutionality of Leadership Code Act No. 17 of 2002 which came into force on 12.7.2002, it was filed in court on 17.10.2003 out of time by about over one year. He submitted, therefore, that the petition is time barred and should be dismissed on that ground with costs.

 

Mr. Kibeedi, learned counsel for the petitioners, submitted that the petition is not time barred for three alternative reasons:-

 

Firstly, that Article 137 (3) of the Constitution does not provide for a time limit within which to file a petition of this nature before the Constitutional Court. According to counsel, the time limit is found under Article 3 (4) (a) and under clause xxix of the National Objectives of the 40 Constitution. It was his contention that under Article 3 (4) (a) of the Constitution, all citizens of Uganda, at all times, are empowered to defend the Constitution and that the only avenue for defence of the Constitution is by coming to the Constitutional Court at all times. In counsel's view, rule 4 (1) of Legal Notice No. 4 of 1996, being a subsidiary legislation which purports to restrict access to the Constitutional Court within thirty days, is manifestly unconstitutional. It contravenes article 3 (4) (a) couple with clause xxix of the National Objectives and Article 137 (3) of the Constitution.

 

Secondly, Mr. Kibeedi submitted that the 10 Constitutional Court has on very many occasions pronounced itself on the question of computation of the thirty days as being the date of perception of the alleged breach. He relied on Zachary Olum & Anor. Vs. The Attorney General, Constitutional Petition No. 6 of 1999; The Attorney General Vs. James Rwanyarare & 9 Others, Constitutional Application No. 3 of 2002. In these cases, Mr. Kibeedi submitted that the Attorney General was the respondent as it is in the present petition, and that they have been raising that same preliminary 20 objection without due regard to the decisions of the Constitutional Court on such a matter. Now, Mr. Kibeedi prays for a clear signal and message on the matter once and for all.

 

Learned counsel then submitted that under the principle of perception, the 1st petitioner perceived the breach on 22.9.2003 while the 2nd petitioner perceived the same on 24th.9.2003. He contended, therefore, that the petition which was filed on 17.10.2003, was within the 30 thirty days prescribed by rule 4 (1) of Legal Notice No. 4 of 1996.

 

The 3rd last alternative is about the use of the word "shall" under rule 4 (1) of Legal Notice No. 4 of 1996. Mr. Kibeedi contended that the use of word " shall" is directory and not mandatory and stated that court should construe the word accordingly.

 

At the end of the submissions on the preliminary 40 objection, the objection was unanimously overruled and the reasons for the same were reserved. My reasons include the following: First and foremost, Article 137 (3) (a) of the Constitution under which this petition is brought, does not provide a time limit within which to file any petition in the Constitutional Court. The same objection was overruled by this court in Uganda Association of women lawyers & 5 others Vs. The Attorney General, Constitutional Petition No 2 of 2003.

 

By raising the same objection here, I wish to reiterate that rule 4 (1) of Legal Notice No. 4 of 1996 is 10 unconstitutional as it is inconsistent with Article 3 (4) (a), the National Objectives under clause xxix and Article 137 (3) of Constitution. The rule is, therefore, null and void as it attempts to restrict access to the Constitutional court within thirty days only.

 

 

As for the merit of the petition itself. I had the benefit of reading in draft the judgment of Okello, JA and I entirely agree with the reasons contained therein. 20 However, I would like to emphasize the following observations only:

 

 

Firstly, under Articles 56,120 (7) and 144 of the Constitution, the leaders named therein have a procedure set for their removal from office, yet sections 19, 20 and 35 (b) & (d) of the Code give the IGG another procedure for recommending their removal quite different from what the Constitution prescribes. The Constitution, being a 30 supreme law, in my view, prevails over any law or custom which is inconsistent with its articles. In that context I find the impugned sections of the code stated in the petition in contravention of the said articles of the Constitution. They are, therefore, null and void to that extent. However, sections 5 (2), 12 (2), 13 (4), 14 (3) and 35 of the Code do not provide different grounds for dismissal of the leaders from what the Constitution provides. They are, therefore, not unconstitutional.

 

Secondly, under Articles 60 (8), 146 (7), 163 (10), 165 (8), 169 (9), 172 (1) (a) and 238 (5) of the Constitution, the

President is given some discretionary powers when dealing with leaders therein named. But sections 19 (1), 20 (1) and 35 (b) and (d) of the Code are inconsistent with those articles of the Constitution in that they attempt to trim the discretionary powers vested in the President. For instance, the President cannot forgive or reprimand any leader in the exercise of his discretionary powers but to abide by the recommendation of the IGG on what should be done to that leader. As those impunged sections attempt to fetter the discretion given to the President by the Constitution, they are to that extent, in my view, null and void.


 

In the result, I would allow this petition with costs to the petitioners.


 

JUDGMENT OF TWINOMUJUNI, JA

 

1. INTRODUCTION:

 

 

I have had the benefit of reading the judgment, in draft, of HONOURABLE JUSTICE G.M. OKELLO, JA. I agree with it entirely but I wish to add some remarks of my own mainly for emphasis only. The facts of the case, the impugned provisions of the Leadership Code

 

Act, the relevant provisions of the Constitution of Uganda and arguments of counsel for both parties, have been ably and adequately laid out in the judgment. I will not repeat them here unless I consider it necessary for ease of reference only. The main' issue to be resolved in this petition is whether the powers conferred on the Inspectorate of Government by the Leadership Code Act, 2002 are consistent with the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. Article 2 of the Constitution provides:-

 

 

"(1) This constitution is the Supreme Law of Uganda and shall have binding force on all authorities and persons in Uganda.

 

(2) If any other law or any custom is inconsistent with any of the provisions of this constitution, the Constitution shall prevail and the other law or custom shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void."

 

Article 137(2) of the Constitution enjoins this court to declare void an Act of Parliament or any other law or act or omission by any person or authority, if it is found to be inconsistent or in contravention of the Constitution. This petition seeks a declaration that certain provisions of the Leadership Act, 2002 are inconsistent and in contravention of the Constitution and that the Act is therefore void to the extent of the inconsistency.

 

2. FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE INSPECTORATE OF GOVERNMENT:

 

 

Article 223 of the Constitution states that the Inspectorate of government consists of The Inspector General of Government (I.G.G.) and the Deputy Inspector General of Government (Dy IGG). The functions of the the purpose of this case, is to supervise the enforcement of the Leadership Code of Conduct. It is significant to take note of the language in which the function is couched:

 

 

"225(d) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, to supervise the enforcement of the Leadership Code of Conduct." [Emphasis added]

Article 232(1) states:-

 

"Parliament shall, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, make laws to give effect to the provisions of this chapter." [Emphasis added]

 

 

The Chapter referred upon here is chapter thirteen on the Inpsectorate of Government. The point being emphasised here is that the IGG must not exercise powers and functions in excess of those conferred to him by the Constitution.

 

Now, in 2003, Parliament of Uganda enacted the Leadership Code Act, 2002 as authorised by Article 232(1) (supra), and chapter fourteen of the Constitution. The Code specifies the officers, known as leaders, to whom it applies. It outlines the conduct that is prohibited and prescribes penalties for breach of the code. It reiterates the powers of the Inspectorate of Government to enforce it and lays down the procedure to be followed when it receives complaints that a leader has breached the code.

 

 

Section 18(1) of the Leadership Code Act provides:-

 

 

"(1) Any person who alleges that a leader has committed a breach of this Code may lodge a complaint to that effect with the Inspectorate and the Inspectorate shall register the complaint.

 

(2) Upon receipt of a complaint under subsection (1) this section, the Inspectorate shall inquire into, or cause the complaint to be inquired into if satisfied that:-(a)the complaint is not trivial or frivolous and is not

made in bad faith; and (b)the subject mater of the complaint is not outside the jurisdiction of the Inspectorate."

 

The procedure to be followed by the IGG after receipt of complaint is laid out in sections 19 and 20 of the Code which I deem essential to reproduce here in full:-

"19 (1) Upon the completion of an inquiry under section 18, the Inspector General shall communicate his or her decision in his or her report to the authorised person with a copy to the person in breach of this Code and require the authorised person to implement his or her decision.

 

(2) The Inspector General's report under subsection (1) of this section shall be made public and shall state whether the leader is or is not in breach of this Code in respect of the specific matters inquired into, and in the case of a breach, shall set out:-

(a)the nature of the breach which the leader has been found to have committed; (b) the circumstances of the breach; (c) a brief summary of the evidence received during the inquiry into the breach; and (d) the findings and decisions.

 

 

(3) In case of criminal offences, the report may contain a recommendation that criminal proceedings be commenced against the leader or any other person.

 

 

20(1) Upon receipt of a report under section 19 containing a finding of a breach of this Code, the authorised person shall effect the decision of the Inspector

General in writing within sixty days after receipt of the report.

 

(2) The authorised person shall report to the Inspector General in writing within fourteen days after the expiration of the sixty days referred to in subsection

(1) of this section, the action taken by him or her.

 

 

(3) A person dismissed, removed from office, or convicted for a breach of this Code shall not hold any other public office whether appointive or elective for five years effective from the date of dismissal or removal."

 

 

To appreciate the powers conferred on the IGG by these provisions, the above sections must be read together with the provisions of section 35 the same Act which states:-

 

 

"35. A leader who commits a breach of this Code shall:-(a)in the case of a breach under subsection (7) of section 4,

have the excess or undeclared property confiscated and forfeited to the Government; (b)in the case of a breach under subsections (6) and (8) of section 4, be dismissed from or shall vacate office: (c) in the case of a breach under subsection (6) of section 10,be liable to:-

(i) forfeit the benefit equivalent to the gift, hospitality or benefit, to the Government or institution and shall stand warned;

(ii) be warned in writing; or

(iii) dismissal;

(d)in the case of a breach under sections 8(3), 9(4), 11, 15(6) and 16 be liable to dismissal or shall vacate office."

 

 

It should be noted that the word "shall" is used in both section 20 and section 35(b) and (d). This means that the provisions contained therein are mandatory. If for example, a leader is investigated by the IGG and is found guilty of failure to submit a declaration of assets without reasonable cause contrary to section 4(8) of the Code, then it is mandatory that that leader must be dismissed. If the IGG reports in accordance with section 19 to the authorised person (the appointing authority) that the leader is guilty of the offence, the appointing authority MUST dismiss the leader within 60 days without any further inquiry and must report to the IGG within 14 days thereafter that he has done so.

 

 

The list of Leaders is very long. It includes the President and the Vice President and Ministers, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker and Members of Parliament. The Chief Justice, Judges and Magistrates. The Permanent Secretaries and Senior Civil Servant, Commissioners and Senior Members of Parastatal Organisations, etc.

 

 

Sections 18, 19, 20 and 35 of the Code give the IGG power to order for the dismissal of all these people, and the appointing officer, whoever it is must comply without question! IS this authorised by the Constitution of Uganda? This is the issue at the centre of this petition.

 

 

3. THE PETITIONERS' COMPLAINT (THE ISSUES):

 

 

The petition and the submissions of main complaints (issues) which I wish to state in very simple terms here as follows:-

 

(a) That specified sections of the Leadership Act are inconsistent with Articles 56, 144 and 120(7) of the Constitution to the extent that they prescribe new grounds for the dismissal beyond what is authorised by those provisions of the Constitution.

 

(b)That sections 19, 20 and 35(b) and (d) of the Code contravene the provisions of Articles 56, 120(7) and 144 of the Constitution to the extent that they prescribe a different procedure for dismissal from that prescribed by the Constitution.

 

 

(c)That sections 19(1), 20(1) and 35(b) and (d) of the Code are inconsistent with Articles 60(8), 146(7), 161(5), 163(10), 165(8), 169(9), 172(1)(a) and 238(5) of the Constitution to the extent that they fetter the discretion of the President (appointing authority) conferred on him by the Constitution when exercising his powers to discipline leaders mentioned in those articles.

 

(a) Issue No. One:

This issue has been dealt with exhaustively in the judgment of my brother Hon. Justice Okello, JA. I agree, for the reasons he has given, that sections 5(2), 12(2), 13(4), 14(3) and 35 do not create new ""grounds for dismissal of leaders" beyond those mentioned in Articles 56, 60, 120, 144, 146,161, 163, 165, 167, 169, 172 and 238 of the Constitution.

 

 

(b)Issue No. Two:

Articles 144(2), 56 and 120(7) of the Constitution deal with the dismissal of Judges of the Courts of Judicature, the Commissioners of Uganda Human Rights Commission and the Director of Public Prosecution, respectively. All these officers have got similar terms and conditions of service. The procedure for dismissing them is elaborately laid down in article 144 of the Constitution. The procedure is elaborately spelt out because the framers of the Constitution felt that due to the nature of their jobs and in order to protect their Independence; they should not be dismissed lightly. But as I have shown above, sections 19, 20, 35(b) and (d) give the IGG powers to dismiss them by directing the President to do so. The President has no power to question the directive. In my humble view, to the extent that the Leadership Code Act provides a different procedure for the dismissal of Judges, Human Rights Commissioners and the Director of Public Prosecution contrary to the procedure

prescribed by the Constitution, the impugned provisions of the Code contravene the Constitution and are void.

 

(c) Issue No. Three:

This issue concerns the dismissal of Commissioners of the Electoral Commission, the Health Commission, The Education Commission,

The Public Service Commission, The Land Commission, The Auditor General, The Governor and The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda and officers in Public Service of the rank of Head of Department and above. The Constitutional provisions for their dismissals are similar. The President MAY dismiss them ONLY for:

  • Inability to perform.

  • Misbehaviour or misconduct.

  • Incompetence.

 

The word MAY connotes discretion of the President. Whatever the reason, he does not have to dismiss. He could prescribe any other punishment or even forgive. But as we have seen above, the provisions of sections 19, 20 and 35 of the Code of Conduct prescribe otherwise. The President is deprived of the discretion conferred by the Constitution.

 

The case of the dismissal of Major Kakooza Mutale provides a good illustration. H.E. The President of Uganda swore an affidavit on the matter on 22nd September 2003 as follows:-

"AFFIDAVIT

I, YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI, c/o State house, P. O. Box 25497, KAMPALA do solemnly swear and state as follows: -

  1. That I am a male adult Ugandan of sound mind and the President of Uganda.

  2. That on the 6th August 2003, I relieved Major Roland Kakooza Mutale of his duties as a Presidential Advisor solely and exclusively on the basis of the recommendation of the Inspector General of Government [IGG] and not for any other reason.

  3. That the IGG advised me that he had made his recommendation to me to relieve Major Roland Kakooza Mutale of his duties having carried out all the necessary legal inquiries and that according to the Leadership Code I, as the Appointing Authority, had no choice in the matter but simply to carry out the Statutory duty of implementing the recommendation of the IGG.

  4. That I therefore relieved Major Roland Kakooza Mutale of his duties on the basis of the IGG's recommendation and having been given the impression that all the correct legal principles and procedures had been fulfilled, and all steps taken to ensure that he gets fair treatment according to natural justice.

  5. That if the Court finds that the IGG made the above stated recommendation to me on the basis of a flawed procedure and never followed the Leadership Code and the law generally in making his recommendation, I am prepared to reinstate Major Kakooza Mutale to his Office as Presidential Advisor.

  6. That I make this affidavit in certification of the facts laid hereinabove.

  7. That whatever is stated herein is true to the best of my knowledge save Par.3 which is true base on the advice and information to me by the IGG.

 

Sworn at Kisozi }

By the said YOWERI }

KAGUTA MUSEVENI } signed

This 22nd day of September 2003 } DEPONENT

 

Before me:

 

signed

A Commissioner for Oaths"

 

 

 

The contents of this affidavit need no further explanation. The IGG made the recommendation to dismiss Kakooza Mutale acting under the powers conferred on him by sections 19, 20 and 35 of the Leadership Code. The President was told that he had no choice in the matter and he acted. Indeed, as far as the Leadership Code Act is concerned, the advice given to the President was correct. But it does not measure up to the Constitution as far as the articles under consideration here are concerned. Under those articles the President has an absolute discretion. To the extent that the Code seeks to extinguish the discretion, sections 19, 20 and 35(b) and (d) ought to be declared void and I would so declare.

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION:

 

 

I agree and hold that sections 19, 20, 35(b) and (d) are inconsistent with Articles 56, 60(8), 120(7), 144, 146(7) 161(5), 163(10), 165(8), 169(9), 172(1)(a) and 238(5) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and are null and void to that extent. The implications of this holding is that the Leadership Code is not nullified as such BUT sections 19, 20, 35(b) and (d) of the Code cannot be enforced against the holders of the following offices:

  1. The Chairperson and Commissioners of Uganda Human Rights Commission.

  2. The Chairperson and Commissioners of Electoral Commissioner.

  3. The Justices and Judges of the Courts of Judicature.

  4. The Chairperson and Commissioners of Judicial Service Commission.

  5. The Governor, the Deputy Governor and Members of the Board of the Bank of Uganda.

  6. The Auditor General.

  7. The Chairperson and Members of Public Service Commission.

  8. The Chairperson and Commissioners of the Health Service Commission.

  9. The Chairperson and Commissioners of Education Service Commission.

  10. Officers appointed by the President under Article 172(1)(a).

11)The Chairperson and Commissioners of Uganda Land Commission. 12) Though the officers of the Inspector General of Government and the

Deputy Inspector General of Government were not made a subject of

 

I would allow this petition with costs to the petitioners. Dated at Kampala this 30th day of March 2004.

Hon. Justice Amos Twinomujuni JUSTICE OF APPEAL.

this petition, they fall in the above category.

 

 

I would allow this petition with costs,to the petitioners.

 

THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

 

 

IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF APPEAL OF UGANDA AT KAMPALA

 

 

CORAM: HON. LADY JUSTICE L.E.M. MUKASA-KIKONYOGO,DCJ
HON. MR. JUSTICE G.M. OKELLO, JA
HON. MR. JUSTICE S.G. ENGWAU, JA
HON. MR. JUSTICE A. TWINOMUJUNI, JA
10 HON. LADY JUSTICE C.N.B. KITUMBA, JA

 

CONSTITUTIONAL PETITION NO. 8 OF 2003

  1. FOX ODOI-OYWELOWO)

  2. JAMES AKAMPUMUZA ) :::::::::::::::::::: PETITIONERS

VERSUS

ATTORNEY GENERAL::::::::::;;:::::::::::::::::::RESPONDENT

 

 

20

JUDGMENT OF KITUMBA, JA

 

 

This petition was filed in this court under article 137(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and The Modification to Fundamental Flights and Freedoms (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 1992 Directions 1996 (Legal Notice No. 4 of 1996).

 

 

 

The first petitioner is the private secretary to His Excellency the President of Uganda, in charge of Legal Affairs. The second petitioner is an advocate. They have petitioned this so court that some sections of the Leadership Code Act, No. 17 of 2002 are inconsistent with the Constitution and prayed for the following:

 

 

"(a) A declaration that the application of sections 5 (2), 12(2), 13(4), 14(3) and 35(b), 35(c) and (d) of the Leadership Code Act No. 17 of 2002 renders them inconsistent with articles 144, 56, 60 (8), 120(7), 146 (7) (c), 161 (5), 163(10), 165(8), 167(9) 169(9) and 238 (5) of the Constitution in their application to vacation of office by the respective office holders.

 

 

(b) A declaration that section 19(1), 20(1) and 35(b)

and 35 (d) of the Leadership Code Act No. 17 of

2002 are inconsistent with articles 60(8) 146(7) (c), 161(5), 163(10), 165(8), 169(9) and 238(5) of the Constitution in so far as they fetter the discretion of the President in the removal of given office bearers from their respective offices.

 

(c) Costs of the Petition."

The petitioners swore affidavits in support of their petition. The affidavit which was sworn by His Excellency the President, in High Court Civil Appeal No. 40 of 2003 is attached as annexture "A" to the affidavit of the first petitioner. The evidence in that affidavit is that the deponent relieved Major Roland Kakooza Mutale of his position of Presidential Advisor because he was advised that according to the Leadership Code Act he was obliged to comply with the instructions of The Inspector General of Government.

 

 

In answer to the petition the respondent denies that the Leadership Code Act is inconsistent with the Constitution as alleged by the petitioners. Ms Christine Kaahwa, a Senior

State Attorney, swore an affidavit in support of the respondent's answer to the petition.

 

 

The following issues were agreed upon for determination: "1. Whether sections 5(2), 12(2), 13(4), 14(3) 35(b) (c) and (d) of the Leadership Code Act No. 17 of 2002 are inconsistent with articles 144, 56, 60(8), 120(7), 146(c), 161(5), 163(10), 165(8) 167(9), 169(9) and 238(5) of the Constitution.

  1. Whether sections 19(1) 20(1) and 35 (b) and (d) of the Leadership Code Act are inconsistent with articles 60(8), 146 (7) (c), 161(5) 163(10) 165(8), 169(9), 172 and 238 (5) of the Constitution.

  2. What remedies are available to the petitioners."

 

The petitioners were represented by learned counsel, Mr. Muzamiru Kibeedi and the respondent were represented by 20 Ms Robina Rwakoojo, learned Principal State Attorney and Mr. Alfred Okello Oryem, learned State Attorney.

 

 

At the commencement of the hearing, Mr. Okello Oryem raised a preliminary objection. He contended that the petition was time barred because according to rule 4 (1) of The Modification To Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 1992 Directions 1996 the petition should have been filed within thirty days of coming into force of the Leadership Code Act. He submitted that 30 the Act came into force on 12th July 2002 but the petition was filed on 17/10/2003. This was a period of more than one year, which was obviously out of time.

Mr. Kibeedi opposed the preliminary objection and advanced the following arguments: That article 137(3) of the Constitution does not stipulate a time limit within which a constitutional petition should be filed. Besides, according to article 3(4) of the Constitution, the citizens have the duty to defend the Constitution at all times. According to the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, it is stated in principle 29(g) that the people have got the duty to uphold and defend the Constitution and the law. 10 Mr. Kibeedi prayed court to declare that rule 4(1) of The Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 1992 Directions 1996 is unconstitutional.

 

 

He submitted that this court has held that under the principle of perception computation of time starts from the date the petitioner perceives the breach. In the instant petition, the first petitioner perceived the breach on 22/9/2003 and the second petitioner perceived the same on 24/9/2003. According to counsel, if the dates of the 20 perception of both petitioners are the dates when computation of time starts, then the petition was filed in time.

 

Counsel alternatively submitted that the word "shall" contained in Rule 4(1) is merely directory and not mandatory. He implored this court to follow its decision in Baku Rafael V Agardi Didi Election Petition Appeal No. 2 of 2002 (unreported).

 

 

 

After listening to both counsel the court dismissed the preliminary objection and promised to give reasons later. I now give my reasons for supporting the court decision.

 

 

 

 

 

I have had the benefit of reading in draft the judgment of my senior brother Okello, JA and I agree with the reasons given by him. However, I would like to add some comment on rule"

 

4(1).

 

While I appreciate that the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy are not justiciable, the Court must be guided by them when interpreting the Constitution. Mr. Okello Oryem's argument that the citizens rights to defend the Constitution at all times should be limited to when there is an attempt to change the Constitution by violent means is not acceptable. Such interpretation would, in my view, limit the citizens' powers unnecessarily. It would be contrary to what the framers of the Constitution intended.

 

 

 

 

 

One must look at the history of this country. The preamble to the Constitution recites the history of this country, which has been characterised by political and constitutional instability. The framers of the Constitution intended to do away with such violence and to establish peace and stability by governance through rule of law. It is my considered view that upholding and defending the Constitution by peaceful means, ensures political and constitutional stability. Filing a constitutional petition to challenge an unconstitutional law is, in my opinion, a lawful and a peaceful method of defending and upholding the Constitution and is, therefore, most consistent with article 3(4) of the Constitution. Rule 4(1) is contrary to the spirit of the frames of the Constitution. It is unconstitutional. This court has held so in its recent decision of Uganda Association of Women Lawyers and Others Vs The Attorney General Constitutional Petition No. 2 of 2003 (unreported). This is one of the reasons why I supported the unanimous decision of the court.

 

 

I now consider the merits of the petition.

In the first issue it was the petitioners' contention that the impugned sections of the Leadership Code are inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution which deal with the vacation of or dismissal from office of people occupying constitutionally established offices. Counsel for ' the petitioners argued that according to section 2 of the Leadership Code and the second schedule thereof, leaders are defined. Sections 5(2) 12(2)(a) (b) 13(4) and 14(3) of the Leadership Code have designated certain acts as offences if committed by leaders. The impugned sections have provided for removal or dismissal from offices of the concerned officers, which is contrary to the constitutional provisions. Learned counsel dealt with the articles of the Constitution, which deal with the officers as stated here below namely; article 144 for judicial officers, article 56 which deals with the removal of members of the Uganda Human Rights Commission article 120(7), which provide for the terms and conditions of the Director of Public Prosecutions, article 60(5) which provide for the removal of members of the Electoral Commission, article 161(5) which provide for the removal of the Governor, Deputy Governor and members of the Board of the Bank of Uganda, article 163(10) for the Auditor General, article 165(8) for the Public" Service Commission, article 167(9) of which provide for Education Service Commission, article 169(9) for Health Service Commission and article 238 (5) which deal with the Uganda Land Commission.

 

 

He argued that the Constitution provides in all the above-mentioned articles for dismissal/removal from office "only" on these grounds:

"(a) Inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of body of mind;

  1. Misbehaviour, or

  2. Incompetence."

 

He urged this court to strike out the impugned sections because their application would result in the unconstitutional effect.

 

 

In reply Mr. Okello Oryem submitted that impugned sections of the Leadership Code Act are not inconsistent with the Constitution. The offences created by the Leadership Code Act amount to misbehaviour or misconduct, which is a ground provided in the Constitution for the removal of all officers concerned.

 

 

He contended that the 1995 Constitution emphasises accountability, patriotism and royalty to Uganda. According to him those principles are set in the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy. He referred to the Principles 24 and 26.

 

 

He argued further that according to article 2(2) of the Constitution, the Constitution is supreme. In the premises, the sections of the Leadership Code Act which counsel for the petitioners complained of as obliging the President to follow the Inspector General of Government decision is not correct. These sections are merely directory.

 

 

It is appreciated that neither the Constitution nor the Leadership Code Act defines misbehaviour or misconduct. I respectfully agree with the two words as defined by Black's Law Dictionary and as explained in the leading judgment. Misbehaviour or misconduct even in common parlance means conduct, which is not acceptable. When one looks at the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy especially Principle 26, leaders have to be accountable to the people. For example: it is misbehaviour or misconduct for a leader to misuse public property, which is entrusted into his or her care. It is similarly misconduct or misbehaviour for the leader without reasonable excuse to fail to clarify something in his declaration when requested to do so by the Inspector General of Government. (See sections 13 (4) and 5(2) of the Leadership Code Act.)

 

 

Regarding article 144 the judicial officers can be dismissed after following a laid down procedure. This is initiated by the cabinet or the Judicial Service Commission and a tribunal is set up to try the errant officer. The same applies 10 to members of the Human Rights Commission and the Director of Public Prosecutions. It, therefore, follows that sections 19(1) 20(1) and 35(b) and (d) which provide what should be done to the errant officers without following the provision of the Constitution is inconsistent with articles 144, 56 and 120(7) of the Constitution.

 

 

Regarding the second issue, counsel for the petitioners contended that sections 19(1), 20(1) and 35(b) and 35(d) of the Leadership Code Act are inconsistent with articles 60(8), 20 146(7)(c), 161(5), 163(10), 165(8), 167(9) 169(9), 172 and 238 (5) of the Constitution. He submitted that the above sections do not allow the President to use his discretion whether to remove one from office or not. Once the Inspector General of Government has made a report to the President the latter must comply. Mr. Okello Oryem adopted his earlier submission on the matter.

It is appreciated that The Inspector General of Government is a constitutional office with the mandate to check on others. However, he is not above the President who is the Fountain of Honour. The provisions of section 19(1) 20(1) and 35(b) and 35(d) are obviously inconsistent with the articles 60(8), 146(7) (c) 161(5), 163(10) 165(8) 167(9) (169(9) and 238(5) of the Constitution. The constitutional from office provides that the President may remove a member from the office. This to implies that the President has the discretion whether to remove a member or not. The example of restricting the President's discretion is amply evidenced in his affidavit. He had to relieve his advisor of his duties because, as he averred, he had to comply with the recommendation of the Inspector General of Government.

 

In the result I would hold that sections 19, 20, 35 (b) and (c) are "inconsistent with articles 56, 60(8), 120(7) 144, 146(7)" 161 (5) 163(10) 165(8) 167(9) 169(9) 172(1) (a) and 238 (5) of 20 the Constitution.

 

 

I would allow the petition with costs to the petitioners.

 

 

Dated at Kampala this 30th day of March 2004.