Sylvia Rwabwogo, Kabarole District Woman Representative has denounced her own party [National Resistance Movement-NRM] plans to amend the constitution and allow their chairman, President Museveni, to rule for life.
“Today Ugandans, especially we the leaders in Parliament face enormous responsibility. The country is looking to us to make a major decision on whether we should change the constitution to remove age limits,” Rwabwogo said in a statement.
She said it is no simple burden Ugandans carry. Rwabwogo attended the NRM caucus meeting that purported to endorse the idea that Hon. Raphael Magyezi presents a private members Bill on the matter.
“I also attended the Thursday session held under the circumstances that you all witnessed. Since then you have seen the flood of notices to the Speaker from MPs uncomfortable about sections of our constitution.”
“The big question is, can the constitution cater for every individual Ugandan’s interest?” she wondered, adding, “No one says our Constitution is perfect but how do some of the proposed amendments help it become a better document?”
Rwabwogo says she has reflected on that question deeply, reflected particularly on Article 102 (b) admittedly the last safeguard to peaceful change of power that this country has never seen in now almost 55 years since independence.
“I have heard mixed voices from the people of Kabarole whom I represent but as a leader they expect me to lead from the front not behind.”
She thinks the country and MPs owe it to President Museveni and those he struggle to bring the current peace, stability and prosperity.
“We owe it to them to see their original ideals to fruition, we owe it to the framers of the 1995 Constitution to firm the country on a democratic Constitutional path.”
“We owe it to ourselves and our children and grandchildren, for those reasons, I see no value in helping the President tear down everything he fought for, I know he wanted to see a country where leaders retire and continue to give guidance to younger leaders, we owe it to him to realise that.”
She says the only means to achieve that is building more safeguards into the constitution comprehensively not vice versa.
“That is why I am standing with colleagues on the side of protecting, preserving and strengthening and defending the Constitution. If it ain’t broken, don’t mend. Keep the constitution as is especially on critical power management questions.”
She joins ranks of ‘NRM rebels’ like Abbas Agaba (Kitagwenda, Kamwenge) Alex Ruhunda (Fort Portal Municipality) And Andrew Martial (Former Igara East MP) who have since denounced the bill.