As Igara West Member of Parliament Raphael Magyezi prepares to lay on the parliament floor a bill to amend Article 102 (b) of the constitution; the opponents of the bill have been advised to desist from violence and prepare to counter argue the bill on the floor.
President Museveni Senior Press Secretary Don Wanyama this morning warned concerning the controversial amendment, that only numbers and not violence will win the day. Those bent to causing violence, he said, are only wasting time.
Wanyama noted that the reason the opposition don’t like the bill is because they fear President Museveni; but warned that that the ruling NRM government will not make it easy for the opposition to take power.
He said while appearing on Nbs Tv, “The opposition admit that their only interest is getting Museveni out of power. That is their biggest worry. No one is going let you trip to power accidentally. No political party wakes up and makes the bed for others to come and sleep in.”
He added, “If you do not have the numbers the law demands to change the constitution or oppose change of the constitution; if you are digging in and taken an extreme position; if you think you are going to move this discussion by bringing violence and throwing chairs, you are wasting your time.”
Wanyama urged the opposition to let the bill go through the normal process, and wait for their time to express their views on it.
“The bill will be tabled, referred to the committee and discussed on the floor of parliament. We pray that the opposition will express their concerns on Museveni staying in power and after that, parliament will make its decision.”
Wanyama also dismissed fears by some pessimists that amending Article 102 (b) to remove the presidential age limit was likely to plunge the country in a constitutional crisis as was the case in 1966.
This narrative he said is farfetched since the circumstances today are different.
Following last week’s violence at parliament and its invasion by external security agencies, some people feared Uganda could slide back to the post-independence crisis.
Former Mbarara Municipality MP Winnie Byanyima tweeted, “This is a 1966 moment. NRM President and MPs are choosing repression, civil strife, economic decline and violent change. Oppose”
But Mr Wanyama dismissed these fears as mere fear-mongering.
“What you had in 1966 was, a president woke up, put a draft of the constitution, gave (MPs) an ultimatum and they discussed and passed it,” he said.