By Augustine Otuko
As age limit debate rages on, a lot of schools of thought have come into play.
All constitutional stakeholders including opposition and academia view the amendment of article 102(b) differently depending on either vested interests or appreciation of facts.
Far from that, the debate on article 102 (b), either in parliament or in the public gallery, provides room for citizens to discuss about the future of Uganda with or without President Museveni.
We are all immortal, but Uganda was, is and will be here in a thousand years to come.
The debate has not only attracted opposition views, but also deep analysis from NRM Party structural leaders who want the matter discussed in the party organs before a position is taken to amend or not to amend.
Several Central Executive Committee (CEC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) Members have expressed reservations with the procedures used to debate or advance the matter.
This has been evidenced in the media outbursts of Hon. Aleper, Vice Chair Karamoja region; Gabriel Katto, National Chairman for People with Disabilities; Gadaffi Nasur, the National Youth Chairman; Matayo Kyaligonza, Vice Chairman Western Uganda to mention but a few.
Their common argument is that the Magyezi Bill is not a party position and therefore they are free to disagree with it since CEC has not sat to resolve on any matter.
What remains unanswered though, is whether NRM operates as a political party.
Others go ahead to argue that the time is right for the party to talk about transitioning beyond Museveni while some believe that supporting the Magyezi bill is a vote of no confidence against Cabinet that was meant to constitute a constitutional review commission to deal with all the amendment proposals.
“We can not hide our weaknesses in a Private Members Bill,” one CEC member stated.
This clearly shows an internal contradiction within the movement that MUST be dealt with if NRM is not to cause bruises to it self.
It could be done using the NRM historical mechanisms that include building concensus or open methods of execution.
It should be noted that it is the first time in the history of NRM political party/revolution for a member of the high ranking party organ to contradict a position advanced by the National Chairman if at all he is behind the move.
Away from that, I would love to address myself to a section of NRM Leaders and supporters who believe that NRM can afford a transition without Museveni.
It should be noted that NRM Political party has not fully grown in strength and operations into a functional party. In Modern or progressive democracies ruling parties wield more power than it’s government.
Parties deploy or can withdraw a deployment; government is accountable to a political party as far as manifesto implementation is concerned.
Functional parties are self sustainable with a functional economics and investment department/directorate.
However, as far as we are concerned NRM is far from that.
In addition, NRM leaders have mastered the art of clique-ism and factionalism.
Apparently, President Museveni is a point of intersection; short of him — it will be disastrous.
For those thinking about a transition for posterity reasons, the only option available for them is a partial transition that will require Ammendment of the NRM Constitution to seperate the Position of the National Chairman and that of a Presidential Flag Bearer.
In this, NRM can retain Gen. Yoweri as a National Chairman, while the party can transit in flag bearer-ship.
This will enable Musveni to grow the party as he gradually retires.
Anything less than that, creates room for a metamorphosis into a new evolution different from the original ideals of NRM.
In post Museveni, Every Clique or faction may transform into a political unit like what happened in KANU.
The writer is the NRM Youth Chairman, Katakwi District