Mwesigwa Rukutana, Deputy Attorney General, has asked residents in Ntungamo district to disregard talk about scrapping the age limit as long as President Yoweri Museveni can still give them services like tapped water.
He was this week launching the western region water baraza in Ntungamo district.
Rukutana who served as the State Minister for Higher Education is also the elected Member of Parliament (MP) for “Rushenyi County”, Ntungamo District. He has continuously served in that capacity since 2001.
He made the remarks while launching water points in Nyakibigi and Kaserere in the presence of officials from National Water and Sewerage Corporation [NWSC], district leaders and MPs like Gerald Karuhanga.
“Here is the water, let me open it,” Rukutana said while cutting the tape to launch the water points.
Speaking at the event, Rukutana asked the cheering residents to disregard age limit talk and focus on fighting poverty with support from government.
“That campaign [age limit],” Rukutana paused, savouring all the attention from residents who surrounded him, adding, “you leave it leave it to me. I will know how to handle it.”
He challenged them on the connection between Museveni’s age and service delivery, saying there was none.
“If he [Museveni] is old but is still bringing water here, then what’s the problem?”
He queried: “Will the water stop coming because Museveni is above 75 years?”
In July, Rukutana refuted reports government had published a Constitutional Amendment Bill to lift the presidential age limit currently capped at 75 years.
Rukutana told the parliament that no such amendment has been proposed by the government.
“There is no amendment Bill for lifting of the age limit as yet, the only amendment that has been approved by cabinet, is the Bill on compulsory acquisition of land for public use,” Rukutana said.
Rukutana later told journalists the omnibus bill that includes amending Article 102(b) on the age limit, a move he confessed supporting, will come to parliament this year.
Regarding the other constitutional amendments, including the age limit, Rukutana revealed that a list of 18 names had been sent to the president to pick the Constitution Review Commission, which will seek views from Ugandans on the amendments.
A report generated from that will form the basis for the omnibus Constitution (Amendment) Bill, Rukutana explained.
Other amendments include electoral reforms arising from the Supreme Court presidential election petition.
“We want it [age limit] to be amended, including me, because it is out of date. I am on record since the Constituent Assembly days saying that limiting somebody from leadership because of his age is discriminatory,” Rukutana said.
He added: “As long as somebody is voted for, the person should be free to offer himself. If he is frail and senile, during the campaigns the people will see him and say, oh this man, because of his age he cannot manage, and they will not vote him.”