Former presidential candidate, Kizza Besigye, on Thursday voiced his frustrations regarding the ruling party National Resistance Movement [NRM] MPs who are pushing for the scrapping of the presidential age limit clause.
“I’m rather frustrated by this conversation. I don’t know whether I’m spending my time rightfully,” Besigye complained while appearing on NBS TV “Frontline” programme.
He agreed with former Ethics and Integrity minister, Miria Matembe, who reduced NRM MPs to mere bootlickers.
“We are under a military regime. The institutions and Parliament we have are not under a democratic regime,” Besigye stressed.
He added: “In a dictatorship like this, power flows from one place. These people are just agents.”
The “one place” Besigye talked about was the head of state. While addressing press at State House Entebbe a day before, President Yoweri Museveni said Ugandans were free to debate age limit removal.
“We finished discussion on Constitution. We already looked into term limits and whoever wants to talk about age limit is now free. I am working on land matters and I’m not part of age limit matters,” the president pointed out.
President Museveni said there was no harm in debating a proposal to lift the presidential age limit from the constitution.
He went on: “I attacked Kabamba [army barracks] three times, I failed twice and won at the third attempt. Failing is part of success.”
But Besigye says this is the time for Ugandans to draw a line in the sand.
“I will do everything within my capacity to help those who want to draw the line.”
According to the opposition figure, the land question is big, vital and explosive.
“We started campaign on land grabbing way back. Land grabbing is a national crisis. I want viewers to know that our concern on land grabbing is not limited to Article 26.”
Bobi Wine too believes MPs are a lost case
Kyandondo East Member of Parliament, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine, earlier attacked NRM legislators for even thinking about lifting the age limit.
In an audio message, Bobi Wine described as dishonourable and unpatriotic what the MPs did at a time when the nation has been bleeding for the past 31 years.
“Corruption rates are alarming. Service delivery is at the worst. Mothers die giving birth. Unexplained murders are everywhere and the judiciary is a mockery. Our children face an uncertain future where unemployment is the order of the day. The national debt has turned us into slaves and the gun has become the master,” he said.
He said the one time pearl of Africa is now a laughing stock among nations. All public assets have been sold and as if that’s not enough to satisfy their appetites, after selling almost all public properties, the government now wants to take people’s private land.
“In response to all this, your elected Members of Parliament think that the best response to this crisis and national shame is to remove age limits and continue with the same nonsense.”
He said other than thinking of rescuing Uganda from the mess, they are asking that Uganda sinks even deeper.
“You have betrayed your country and you have sold your conscience for cheap. History will judge you very harshly. You should remember that it is your children and your children’s children who will have to inherit this mess that you are creating. You should individually reflect on what you have just done.”
He said those who put up hands to support that “stupid” resolution should have their names put on the “national wall of shame”.
“You should also remember that you swore an oath to bear true allegiance to the Republic of Uganda and uphold its Constitution. So by passing this resolution, you did exactly the opposite of what you swore to do.
“Well, the good news is that there is still time for you to withdraw your endorsements before it is too late. And before I forget, I want to thank those few patriotic NRM MPs who rejected the madness of raping the constitution. You’re heroes and please maintain your stand. Do not bow down to pressure because your voters are watching you and they will be rewarding you.”