The Democratic Party has finalised plan to petition the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, Tuesday to halt debate on the private members bill that seeks to amend article 102b of the constitution to lift the presidential age limit.
Fred Mukasa Mbidde, the DP national Vice-President and member of the East African Legislative Assembly, told NTV they intend to march from Makindye to parliament to deliver their petition.
Mbidde has also scoffed at the proposal for a referendum on the same amendment.
“We will have a regional trek. I will carry a document to the speaker as a member of EALA and Vice President DP advising parliament not touch the constitution,” Mbidde told the television.
Mbidde says the provision to even hold a referendum can be held if the population requests for that referendum. “Yet Ugandans have not requested it.”
But Chris Baryomunsi, the State Minister for Housing, says the age limit debate has been made hyperbolic and very serious.
According to him, Igara West MP Raphael Magezi has a right to present private members’ bill. “We haven’t reached the level of supporting the bill. We are right now allowing Magezi to table the private members’ bill.”
Asked if he support the removal of the presidential age limit, Baryomunsi said: “yes, I have no problem with it.”
He argues that there is no scientific explanation for one to be limited to contest at the age of 75. There is no justification.
On Arua MP Ibrahim Abiriga and Privatisation minister Evelyn Anite, Baryomunsi said the pair brings flavour to politics.
“I don’t agree with the behaviour exhibited by my colleagues last week. I smelt alcohol in the Parliament chamber.”
FDC strong woman, Salaamu Musumba, while appearing on NBS television Monday, said the effort to have a life president started way back in 2005.
She said what is happening now is to ensure that President Museveni rules for life.
“A private member doesn’t take precedence over a government bill. This is awkward.”
She said the ‘Baryomunsi’ of the late Cerinah Nebanda’s time is different from the ‘Baryomunsi’ of today “they are like shadows”.
Already, an NRM youth group wants to petition Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to allow for a party consensus before private members’ bill on age limit is tabled in Parliament.
The same group wants the presidential term limits restored in the Constitution.