The Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has barred legislators from discussing a non-existent Constitution (Amendment) Bill on lifting the 75-year age cap for presidential aspirants.
In her Communication from the Chair during Tuesday’s plenary sitting, Kadaga said that “MPs were being targeted and receiving threatening messages about the Constitution (Amendment) Bill.”
“There is too much excitement for and against the Bill; I have not seen the Bill and I don’t know where the debate is coming from,” she said.
The media has been awash with stories and commentaries about a government move to amend Article 102(b) of the Constitution which provides that a person to qualify to stand for president shall not be less than 35 years or more than 75 years of age.
Kadaga asked the Attorney General or Minister of Justice to give the House the government’s position about the Bill.
“I suggest that no one goes to the public to discuss the Constitution (Amendment) because it is not there (before the House); stop exciting the public,” said Hon. Kadaga.
The Deputy Attorney General, Hon. Mwesigwa Rukutana, said he had also seen and watched media debates claiming that there is a Constitution (Amendment) Bill, which he and government were not aware about.
“I want to allay fears of MPs and suspicions of the public that there is no such Constitution (Amendment) Bill sponsored by either the government, a private MP or any individual,” said Rukutana.
He said that the only Bill that had been processed by Cabinet was meant to amend Article 26 of the Constitution on government acquisition of land for infrastructural development.
The Constitution provides that every person has a right to own property either individually or in association with others; and that no person shall be compulsorily deprived of property or any interest in or right over property of any description without fulfilling certain conditions including payment of fair and adequate compensation.
“It has been gazetted and it is only in respect of one article of the Constitution,” said Hon. Rukutana adding that, “I am not aware of any other impending Constitution (Amendment) Bill. All these is speculation, not truth.”