Miria Matembe, a Human Rights activist and also former Member of Parliament, has attacked the outgoing European Ambassador to Uganda Roberto Ridolfi over media reports that he supports the re-appointment of Justice Benjamin Odoki as Chief Justice.
Matembe said that Uganda is not ruled by European Union and wondered whether the European Ambassador is aware of Uganda’s Constitution.
She noted that it is Ugandans who should prevail and they should prevail through the Constitution and through their Parliament. She said it is not the European Union Ambassador who must decide whether President Museveni is right to re-appoint Justice Benjamin Odoki or not.
Matembe further said that it is not the EU representative to interpret Uganda’s Constitution.
However, Matembe expressed disappointment in the Judiciary saying that it is unfortunate that the Judiciary which is supposed to interpret the constitution is the very one involved in these wrangles of re-appointment Odoki.
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Ridolfi said during a media discourse with Uganda Parliamentary Press Association that President Museveni was right to reappoint Odoki as Chief Justice if he felt he was the best available candidate.
He noted that it was the President’s duty to ensure all critical positions of government are filled.
Ridolfi’s statement came as a surprise not only to Matembe but because in June, the Envoy expressed displeasure over failures in Uganda’s governance.
Matembe said that it is very disappointing when a man of high integrity, profle and long service like Justice Benjamin Odoki is dragged into wrangles of overstaying in office. She said it is especially sad as Odoki participated in making the very Constitution his extension of contract will defile.
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The Constitution of Uganda provides that a Chief Justice serves up to the age of 70 years and then another one is appointed.
The reappointment of Justice Benjamin Odoki continues to draw criticism from different groups in the country.
However Odoki himself has said that he respects the Constitution and only continues to serve because he has been called upon to serve Ugandans.