The Constitution (Amendment) (No.2) Blll, 2017 was read for the first time on the 3rd of October, 2017 and subsequently referred to the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for scrutiny.
The manner in which the motion seeking leave for the introduction of the private members’ Bill on the 27th of September, 20l7 was controversial. This was preceded by the ejection of some members of Parliament from the Chamber by strangers.
The Bill presented to parliament by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi seeks to among others amend Article 102(b) that caps the presidential age limit between 35 and 75 years, today marks the 3rd day of debate.
What MPs say:
MP Ssemuli Anthony (Mubende Municipality NRM)
“The voice of the people is the voice of God, and we cannot go against the voice of God, my people are NRM supporters and they said don’t touch it”.
Minister Karooro Okurut(NRM):
“There are 54 countries in Africa and it’s only Uganda and 3 others with the upper age limit. Even the others are debating on how to remove the upper cap because they have realized that democracy is not premised on the age cap, I asked my people and they said we should amend the constitution and remove the age limit. “
Minister Evelyn Anite NRM:
“I moved in 3 divisions on Koboko Municipality, 99% of the people said to touch the constitution and squeeze article 102 (b) out of the constitution , my people stated clearly that they cannot imagine themselves going to the ballot without saying the name of President Museveni come 2021, we are enjoying people in Northern Uganda freedom because of President Museveni, we now have tarmac roads and peace because of President Museveni.”
Hon Tusiime Michael (Mbarara Municipality (NRM)
Informed the Parliament that he consulted very widely and got the instructions that he should not only support the amendment but that I should vigorously support it.
Asamo Hellen (Eastern region PWDs)
The representative of the People with Disabilities (PWDs) told parliament that she carried out 5 consultations in the eastern region and that her voters told her to support the amendment of Article 102(b).
“The power to vote lies with the people of Uganda. It is the people to vote out the president or vote them in. President Museveni did not bring himself on that seat, it is the people who brought him,” said Asamo.
“Persons with disabilities support the removal of presidential age limit and the entire age limit bill. PWDs are tired of being called for elections all the time; a 7-year term for will save us”, she said.
Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu
Asked legislators to consider the historical trajectories that befell orderly rule in Uganda. Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine says that the amendment of the Constitution should be in line with fostering Peace, development and good governance of the Country.
The lawmaker says that it is the legislature to protect the Constitution, rather than leave it to what he described as an arena of selfish political actors.
Debate continues today with the promise of voting as state by Speaker Kadaga yesterday.