Age limit bill: Museveni clique holds country at ransom

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Masaka Municipality MP, Hon. Mathias Mpuuga, says a clique led by President Yoweri Museveni is trying to make the country’s constitution a useless document by holding Ugandans at ransom.

“The framers of the 1995 constitution had the benefit of our history,” Mpuuga said Thursday while debating the Constitution Amendment Bill 2017 on NBS television.

“This clique led by Mr Museveni is holding the country at ransom,” he noted, clarifying that they [clique] have gone ahead to make the country’s constitution a useless document.

“You can go ahead and make amendments but issue of who holds the power explains why we haven’t had a peaceful transfer of power since 1962. Why would we have to have a term limit and age limit? It’s just a contradiction,” he wondered.

According to The Uganda Gazette dated June 8, 2017, the Constitution (Amendment) Bill which contains a clause to remove the presidential age limit, will be officially gazetted.

Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, the minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, says the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2017 awaits to be published in The Uganda Gazette before it can come to parliament for debate.

Kampala Central Member of Parliament, Mohammed Nsereko, is already championing a drive by legislators to block the presidential age limit which seeks to scrap the 75 years constitutional limit and allow Museveni run in 2021 elections.

Hon. Mpuuga, who concurs with Nsereko, says Ugandans have not failed to remove the president, there is just no competition in this country.

He said people like veteran politician Capt. Francis Babu doen’t want to face the facts, explaining that last year’s election wasn’t an election, it was just a passing thing.

Babu who was appearing on the same show said whether it’s amending only one article of the constitution, it’s still constitution amendment.

“Let’s go and look at all areas that we think are a nuisance in running of this country; let’s not look at a few things.”

He went on: “Where we are standing right, now we need a constitutional review. The real amendment is the two term limits; I want the two term limits restored.”

Babu said over the years, he has realised that the powers invested into the president are very many, citing three ways of amending the constitution; referendum and Parliament, districts and Parliament and Parliament.

“If we have failed to remove the president through the polls, the term limit is an important posterity for this county.”

He said the MPs are the ones to debate the age limit bill and that these are powerful people and their decision will be respected.

“I’m not going to waste my time on individuals. A lot of nonsense going on in this country. I want a constitutional review for posterity. Some articles should be in the acts of Parliament and not the Constitution.”

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