The petition which resulted into what Parliament’s Speaker Rebecca Kadaga called a “stupid court order” blocking parliament from debating the controversial “presidential handshake” reward, has been formally withdrawn by the petitioner, Eric Sabiiti.
An employee of the Electoral commission, Eric Sabiiti through his lawyer Alex Chandia petitioned the constitutional court to block parliament from the debating the decision by government to reward 42 officials with sh6 billion for their role in winning the capital gains tax dispute against Heritage oil. The bonus has been referred to as the “presidential handshake.”
“I Eric Sabiiti, being the petitioner/applicant in the above matters hereby withdraw the aboveconstitutional petition No.4 of 2017; Sabiiti Eric Vs the Attorney General and constitutional Application No. 6 of 2017,” the application reads in part.
The decision according to the lawyer Alex Chandia, followed a meeting with the attorney general William Byaruhanga in which the petitioner Sabiiti appreciated the challenges created by the petition which saw the Deputy Chief Justice Stephen Kavuma issuing an order which was later dubbed as stupid by speaker Kadaga.
The withdrawal of the application means that there is now nothing on the court record and hence the attorney general does not need to take any action as he was directed by the speaker to go and get the order vacated.
For his part, Sabiiti said that the withdrawal application filed at the Constitutional Court on Thursday was aimed at ensuring that the all three arms of government play their roles without undue influence.
“I looked at the perception and the friction between the three arms of the government and then I formed a different opinion from the one I had in the first place”.
“I did not anticipate that the outcome of the court order had the effect of paralyzing the delivery of services to Ugandans” said Sabiiti.
The withdrawal comes on the heels of widespread criticism of the Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma over the interim court order that had stalled parliament business.
The withdrawal set the stage for the resumption of business in parliament that was indefinitely suspended by the speaker on Tuesday.