East African Court of Justice Arusha, 28th November 2014: The First Instance Division delivers a ruling on an Application filed by three Burundian citizens namely Gasutwa Bonaventure, Jeanbatist Manwangari, and Tatien Sibomana against the Government of Burundi. The Applicants are members of UPRONA party, a principal opposition party in Burundi preparing to challenge the ruling party during the forthcoming general election in May 2015.

The subject of the Application is that, instructions of a Minister of Home Affairs to the police force (Minister of Security) to bar a meeting convened by the Executive Committee of UPRONA which aimed at solving some leadership problems prevailing in the party was unlawful and constitutes an interference of the executive internal matters of a political party which is a violation of Article 80 of the Constitution of  Burundi and Articles 6 (d) and 7 (2) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.

It is the Applicants case that, the Statutes and the Rules of UPRONA Party as well as a final decision of the Supreme Court of Burundi serve as a clear evidence that the Respondent is not competent to forbid the Central Committee of UPRONA to hold its meeting and proceed on it usual duties.

The Applicants request this Honourable Court to grant an interim order nullifying the decision of the Minister for Home Affairs that forbids the Central Committee of UPRONA from holding its meetings. The reasons put forward by the Applicants are that the delay caused by proceedings in ordinary way would entail irreparable injustice for the Applicants. If the interim orders are not granted the Applicants, all members of UPRONA Party will suffer irreparable injury since they will be denied their legal right to prepare and participate in the general elections scheduled to be in April 2015 such injury is not quantifiable. The respondent as well will not be prejudiced if the orders sought are granted.

The Court in delivering the ruling disposed off the Application in favour of the Applicant by ordering the Central Committee elected in 2009 to convene its meeting in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Burundi and as resolved by the Supreme Court of Burundi in 2012. The Court made no orders as to cost.

About the EACJ

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.

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East African Court of Justice
Arusha, Tanzania