The recently rekindled debate on the constitutional limitations on the age of Uganda’s President has catalyzed instant action from a section of members of parliament.
This week the country was stunned to learn that a new bill aimed at among others changing Article 102 of the constitution — which caps the presidential age limit at 75 — had been gazetted and awaited to be tabled on the floor of parliament.
The Constitution Amendment Bill (2017) is being crafted by the ruling NRM legislators reportedly led by Robert Kafeero Ssekitooleko.
Article 102 which the amendment bill targets, is deemed the only impediment so far to President Yoweri Museveni’s life presidency.
Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko revealed today that he was launching a mobilization drive in parliament “to persuade members of all parties and shades of opinion to reject the change in age limit.”
“We need 180 members of parliament to say no change to the amendment in order to rewrite the history of our motherland,” said Nsereko in a statement.
“Many plans shall be laid to derail our cause, but no amount of force shall overcome the power of an organized and committed group of people.”
Hon Nsereko, formerly branded together with three others as a “Rebel MP,” is a member of the ruling party but currently in parliament on an independent ticket.
He says he anticipates a lot of huddles in the struggle but remains determined to confront and defeat the bill.
In his statement, the MP attacked President Yoweri Museveni who he accused of having less to show in the 3 decades he has been in power.
“Uganda just like Zimbabwe has become a nation of embarrassment. Look back at the values you fought for and realize that this is your last chance to leave power as a statesman,” he said.
“Don’t be carried away by chants of sycophants and greedy political actors whose future they can’t see without you in the seat.”
NRM enjoys a resounding majority in Parliament. But according to a mini research by the Observer Newspaper, majority of the NRM MPs are still undecided on this matter.
One of them Jalia Bintu (Woman MP, Masindi) said she would consult first with her people before she can take a position on the matter.
Starting Monday next week, MP Nsereko says he and his group will be rolling out their roadmap to block the change in age limit.