Opposition Democratic Party (DP) are planning on collecting signatures of Ugandans against the lifting of the age limit in a campaign dubbed, “K’ogikwatako!” translating, “If you Dare Touch It”, which will be launched on Thursday.
According to the circular issued by the party president, Norbert Mao, the campaign will be launched at the party headquarters at City House and thereafter members will move to the Constitutional Square to collect signatures of Ugandans that are against the Constitution amendments.
While addressing the media on Tuesday, the party Ag Secretary General, Gerald Siranda said the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Party sitting on Friday 14th July 2017 in Makindye, passed a resolution opposing the two proposed amendments to the Constitution.
Government through the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs tabled before Parliament the Land Amendment Bill 2017 which the opposition deems as an ill-intended bill aimed at allowing government to forcefully acquire land from its citizens.
“While the Party supports the government plans and programs such as good roads, better health and education facilities and structures, we are opposed to the government acquisition of the private property which is an entitlement without due diligence for fair compensation of the land owner,” Siranda said.
Government argues that the amendment is aimed at avoiding delays in government projects due to some speculators who have made it a habit to drag government to Courts of law over compensation.
When the amendment is passed, government will be allowed to acquire land and whoever is not satisfied with the compensation shall seek court redress while the projects are ongoing.
Government is also said to be considering tabling amendments into Article 102 (b) to lift the presidential age limit.
Siranda noted that tinkering with article 102 (b) is tantamount to legislating for life presidency in a country that is still recovering from the self-styled life presidency in 1970s with the checkered history characterized by political instability.
“The Democratic Party has therefore resolved to undertake a rigorous campaign against the illegitimate constitutional amendments in all corners of the Country. As history defines DP for being on the fore front of fighting for democratic governance, constitutionalism and rule of law, we call up on the public to rally behind DP’s campaign dubbed “Kogikwatako!”
The campaign involves reaching out to the Members of Parliament both in the opposition and the ruling party and the general public to persuade them to resist the amendments.