Several Members of Parliament have expressed mixed views hours after their colleagues in the National Resistance Movement NRM endorsed a proposal to have presidential age limits removed from the constitution.
Several Members of Parliament have expressed mixed views hours after their colleagues in the National Resistance Movement (NRM) endorsed a proposal to have presidential age limits removed from the constitution.
At a consultative meeting at parliament today, the ruling party legislators overwhelmingly agreed to embark on the process to amend Article 102(b) At least 245 MPs now plan to table a Private Members Bill seeking to open this up.
Only one MP, Kumi Woman Legislator Monica Amoding, the Chairperson of the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association, openly opposed the move.
Amoding protested her name being included among backers of age limit removal, saying she was not aware of their plans.
“Chairperson, when you invited us here, I didn’t know the meeting was about article 102,” she pointed out.
“I believe this is a pompous discussion,” she added.
The Government chief whip, Ruth Nankabirwa, had summoned NRM MPs for caucus on Monday over the contested amendments to article 26 regarding proposed amendments to the land laws.
However Other MPs have, reacted angrily to the move saying it is tantamount to selling the country.
Mukono municipality MP Betty Nambooze Bakireke, cursed the NRM MPs to their third generation whom she accused of choosing violence over peaceful transition. . . .
“. . . . Colleagues may the outcome of what you have conspired to do today be counted on your heads, those of your children,grandchildren and great great grandchildren….you have chosen violence and blood shed instead of a peaceful transition……It is certainly sacrilegious to subject our country to tyrant of the majority.”
Angelina Osegge, the Soroti Woman MP, says she is not surprised by the NRM caucus’ decision. She says some NRM MPs still have a different position and they were tricked today. She says it’s unfortunate that Ugandan leaders are by name and not by works.
FDC Secretary General Nathan Nandala Mafabi, who represents Budadiri West in Parliament, states that Ugandans should rise up and defend their rights. He says the battle to stop the removal of age limits is not only for the opposition but for the entire country.
Kumi Municipality MP Cyrus Aogon says the NRM legislators are making a decision without consulting the people.
Francis Gonahasa, the Kabweri County MP says it’s a bad sign for Uganda if leaders continue to make uncalled for decisions.
Susan Amero, the Amuria Woman MP, says she supports the move since the same constitution that calls for equality, discriminates against those who may want to stand for president but fall outside the age bracket.
If it stays as it is, Article 102(b) would bar President Museveni from contesting again in 2021.
Born in 1944 and in power since 1986, Museveni will turn 75 in 2019.
This is the first time that government-leaning MPs have officially come up with a position on the matter, though majority have been promoting it individually. The move evokes memories of 12 years ago when the 7th Parliament voted, on September 30, to amend Article 105 of the constitution to remove the two-term limit for the president.