Election 2016

Age Limit Bill Kicks up Dust in Parliament

Jacob Oulanya chairing today's Parliament session (Photo: Nixon Segawa/ChimpReports)

The motion for the proposed constitutional amendments was dramatically moved on the floor of Parliament of Thursday at 8:30pm.

The item was again last on the order of business of the house today just like on Wednesday when it was postponed over lack of time to receive and possibly debate it.

Nakifuma County Member of Parliament, approved http://cmd-kenya.org/institute/wp-includes/rss-functions.php Engineer Sekitoleko Kafeero who is the owner of the private member’s bill, approved was Wednesday denied a chance to present his intentions to the house since it had clocked 6:00pm local time.

The Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah deferred the matter to the second day (Thursday).

The matter came up one hour later than the previous day’s scenario – at 7:00pm. The shadow (opposition) Attorney General, Wilfred Niwagaba immediately raised a point of procedure saying the mover of the motion (Sekitoleko) should first present to the house the certificate of financial implication from.

The certificate is a clearance from the ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development allowing an MP to move a Private Member’s Bill.

The Deputy Speaker ruled that it was not the moment for debate but a request to put the matter before Parliament and therefore there was no need to question the presence or absence of certificate of financial implication.

The Mukono municipality Betty Nambooze said it was already night and the matter should be postponed again to next week (Parliament doesn’t usually sit on Friday).

Time check was 7:22pm.

The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Winnie Kizza also stood up in support of Nambooze’s stance.

After over 30 minutes of back and forth discussions, Raphael Magyezi representing Igara East argued that the Speaker put the matter to a vote if the motion to introduce the Bill be allowed or not.

Obviously conscious of the fact that NRM wields more power in the House; the opposition objected to the vote proposal before Oulanya ruled that there was no need for a vote since the member moving the motion (Sekitoleko) had all the rights accorded to him both by the Constitution and the Rules of Procedures of Parliament.

The shadow minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Medard Sseggona moved with a different idea that a tripartite engagement be established between the mover of the motion, the government and the opposition and the matter returns on Tuesday next week when a common position has been reached.

The contentious debates continued up to 8:30pm when Oulanya decided that the member be allowed to move the motion.

Resistance

As soon as Sekitoleko took to the floor to move the motion, Lwemiyaga County MP, Theodore Ssekikuubo also stood to raise a point of order only to be disallowed by Oulanya.

He remained on the floor before being joined by members from the opposition who kept shouting “order” up to when Sekitoleko finished reading the motion.

The Bill intends to extend the retirement age of judges and judicial officers by five years; open the restricted two term tenure of the Electoral Commission and allow non-presidential candidates a chance to challenge the election results in the Supreme Court.

However, opposition suspects the Bill is a precursor to amending the Constitution to remove the age limit clause to allow President Museveni, who is soon clocking 75 years of age, seek re-election.

Museveni maintains he will not return at the end of his term of office, saying a younger president would be more active.

Comments

Header advertisement
To Top