Magyezi tables age limit as opposition walks out

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The House adopts the Motion to grant leave to Hon. Magyezi to introduce the Private Members Bill

Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi has finally moved a motion to table his private members bill seeking to scrap the presidential age limit from the constitution has been tabled and seconded in parliament.

The motion on Age Limit was seconded by MPs Moses Balyeku, Jackson Karissa and Doreen Amule. Only NRM MPs and NRM leaning independents were left in the Chamber.

Parliament resumed 30 minutes after Speaker Rebecca Kadaga suspended 25 MPs for causing chaos and fighting during the Tuesday plenary.

“You know the rules of the house, if you refuse you are removed,” Kadaga said. Some members applauded.

“The chambers have been damaged, we will use the cameras to single out those who will pay out of their salary,” she added.

Victoria University

Kadaga then asserted that at this point, Magyezi is seeking leave and the age limit bill will come to plenary where different voices will be allowed.

The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Winfred Kizza, started her statement denouncing the manner in which MPs were removed from the house. Kadaga then asked her to sit.

Magyezi took to the floor and read his motion on the age limit while the house sat and listened attentively. All MPs opposing the bill have exited in protest while others had already been booted out soldiers.

Justification for the bill

The seconders of the Age Limit motion argue that Article 102(b) is discriminatory and against the notion of inclusiveness.

Hon Jackson Karugaba says he finds it disturbing that an 80 year-old can vote but not stand for Presidency.

Hon Amule justifies her stand on the premise that the constitution has anomalies that need to be fixed.

“Age should not be a yardstick for one to be eligible for democratic election in a democracy like Uganda,” Amule told the house.

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said it is their right to amend when they see a loophole. “The spirit of the Age Limit doesn’t capture the mood of the country.”

This was followed by an overwhelming ‘aye’ given in support of the age limit bill. Kadaga says the arguments at this time are not necessary.

She reminded the MPs that as they consider the Age Limit bill, the sovereignty of the people should come first.

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