Constitutionalism

Police officers cannot escape responsibility for rights abuse by citing ‘higher orders’ – Ugandan court

A judge of Uganda's high court has ruled that individual members of the police and other security forces may not rely on 'higher orders' or claims that they were waiting for orders 'from above', to justify human rights violations. Judge Margaret Mutonyi ordered significant damages as compensation to a number of applicants after she found police had abused their rights. In one of the two applications she dealt with, a number of people were unlawfully arrested and detained for participating in a legal protest against the raising of Uganda's presidential age limit.

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It would be difficult to overstate the potential importance of a case just decided by the High Court in Uganda. More than a dozen applicants went to court against a number of police officers and the Attorney-General. Originally two separate matters, the applications were joined by the High Court judge presiding, Margaret Mutonyi, who said they raised similar issues.

Suspension of Lesotho's parliament 'irrational', 'unlawful' - court

It was a transparent attempt to avoid a vote of no-confidence by parliament, hiding behind a claim to be protecting MPs from Covid-19. And now the controversial Prime Minister of Lesotho has had his come-uppance from the country’s high court which ruled his prorogation of parliament was invalid. Just another blow for the soon to be ex-PM, Thomas Thabane, a man under suspicion of involvement in the murder of his estranged second wife. Just how soon is far from clear, however, with defiant Thabane saying he will choose how and when to make his exit. 

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The latest drama in the increasingly sensational career of Lesotho’s Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, began on the night of Friday 20 March when he issued a legal notice proclaiming that he had prorogued parliament.

Judge rejects bid to stop upgrade of 'elite' hospital in Zimbabwe

The High Court in Zimbabwe has rejected an attempt to stop the refurbishment of an incomplete and deserted hospital and make it available for patients ill with Covid-19. The Rock Foundation Medical Centre, sometimes called the Arundel Mediclinic and Arundel Hospital, has been at the centre of a major row, with many government opposition members saying the ruling party was renovating the place for the use of the political elite.

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The contentious upgrade of a hospital in Zimbabwe is being driven by a businessman and financier who is also a prominent supporter of the ruling Zanu-PF, Kuda Tagwirei. His Sakunda Holdings have taken over both the Rock Foundation centre and St Anne’s, a second hospital in Avondale, also in the capital Harare.

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