Lawyer Male Mabirizi’s application seeking halt the 2021 elections has been dismissed by the East African Court of Justice in Tanzania where he submitted his request.
Mabirizi filed his lodged his appeal in the East African Court after he lost a case in the Supreme Court in which he was challenging the 2018 Constitution Amendment Act that abolished the upper and lower cap on the presidential age.
A panel of five judges on Thursday unanimously declined to allow Mabirizi’s application. The panel had justices including; Monica Mugenyi, Faustin Ntezilayo, Audace Ngiye, Charles Nyawello, and Charles Nyachao ruled that based on the material on record, the implementation of the disputed act and the preparation for the 2021 general election is well underway.
“Consequently, mindful as we are of the legitimate concern that the applicant may have as regards the financial costs incidental to the implementation of an impugned law, we would nonetheless exercise our discretion to decline to grant the interim orders sought given their far-reaching repercussions to the constitutional order of the respondent state,” the judgment reads in part.
The judges added that “It is clear that the electoral timetable is quite constrained and to halt any part of it for any length of time would certainly throw the electoral cycle into disarray with obvious political, social and economic not to mention constitutional ramifications,” the judgment further reads.
“We take the view that the judicious and expeditious determination of the substantive reference would redress the applicant’s concerns about the legality of the impugned law viz a viz the treaty…We direct that the reference be fixed for hearing at the earliest opportunity.”