EDITORIAL: There is nothing healthier than a nice legal debate

Some judicial systems, even in our region, are some of the most vibrant in the media perspective. There is never a dull moment as there is always some drama unfolding. Lawyers and courts are always kept busy and lawsuits clog the systems, even on some trivial matters.

It could be an indication of rule of law in action, but some of the lawsuits are frivolous as they concern very flimsy issues. The end result is that some important government programmes are paralyzed simply because there was a loophole in a particular law.

Rwanda also seems to have been bitten by the lawsuit bug. It began with a local prominent lawyer challenging the constitution which gave ground for healthy legal debates.

Now it seems another could be waiting in the wings as the next senatorial elections are encountering some grey ground.

With only three months left before the elections for senators, the recent amendment of the Constitution is causing some confusion that needs answers soon.

The previous Senate had a non-renewable eight-year term but the new Constitution stipulates a five-year term renewable only once. So, the question is; are the current senators eligible to contest the elections?

By the time of the elections, some of them will not have exhausted their mandates having been appointed in 2012. It is a dilemma that has befuddled even some of the most seasoned legal minds that now call for the Supreme Court to step in give direction.

Interpreting the Constitution is not a walk in the park, but it surely gives fodder for interesting debates that could be a boon to our young lawyers.

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