PARLIAMENT- On Tuesday MPs started formal debate on the controversial Constitution Amendment Bill No. 2 (2017).
The private member’s Bill that seeks to remove the 35 and 75 years lower and upper age caps for persons eligible to contest for president is sponsored by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi and is supported by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party Caucus.
Kenneth Lubogo (NRM, Bulamogi): I agree with the proposal that we reinstate term limits, and must be entrenched. I don’t agree with the extension of the term of office for it will be pure greed.
Charles Bakabulindi (Workers): The workers said we go and touch the age limit and lift it.
Henry Tumukunde (NRM): 83 per cent of MPs did not make it to the 10th parliament. Ugandans have the capacity to change their leaders. People seem to give an impression that NRM has become weak and can’t change leaders. Leave that to the NRM, who have the numbers.
Denis Sabiti (NRM): Article 21 describes what amounts to discrimination and age is not one of them. On public servants, there is a limitation on age. Are you going to amend these other articles? My conscience tells me that I signed a social contract with my people at the beginning of my term of office. This had two parties, who must agree to extend the term.
Ibrahim Abiriga (NRM, Arua Municipality): I don’t have much to say. I only have three points which are very important. (Proceeds to thank the speaker for the opportunity to consult) and says he divided the 29m among the people and they are not complaining. They are okay with us touching. The [Jacob] Oboth Oboth report represents a referendum. That majority report is from people with a bad heart. Hon Oboth Both, thank you.
Ephraim Kamuntu (NRM, Sheema South): We are three of us from Sheema, and their voice is in support of the amendment, and their justification is the fundamental principle that power belongs to the people. The sovereignty of the people to choose who to govern them.
Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (NRM, Kasambya): I come from Mbende where one of the first bullets were shot, and the district with the highest level of land evictions. The extension of years for MPs is greed, and if MPs are performing, they shouldn’t be afraid to go back to the constituencies.
Persis Namuganza (NRM, Bukono County): The old people of my constituency told me that it’s the old broom that knows how to sweep all corners.
Isiavi Opolot (NRM Kachumala): The people of Bukedia have sent me here to touch. The people of Uganda have the mandate to renew the mandate of a leader... therefore I don’t support the reinstatement of Term Limits in our constitution.
Esther Anyakun (NRM, Nakapiripirit district): All the 3 MPs did a public consultation and we were told to touch it. So many people dies as a result of insecurity in Karamoja and we have just seen light at the end of the tunnel.
James Niringiyimana (NRM, Kinkizi West): This Bill was brought on the premise that it was in accordance with the Supreme Court Ruling but when you see the report, it shows it is a sham. We need to redeem our president. He doesn’t vote in this Parliament but we do the voting.
Sam Lyomoki (NRM, Workers): Uganda is looking for about 130 people to vote against this Bill. He proceeds to say a word of prayer for conviction among MPs to stand on behalf of the people of Uganda.
Anywarach Carter (Independent, Padyere): I read all the two reports. The issues of election petition are not like criminal trials. Judges inquire into election petition while in criminal petitions judges conduct trials. Any incumbent can turn the many days of election petition to alter facts. Which is why I don’t support the increments of days. The people of Padyere said no to the amendment.
Alion Odria (Independent, Aringa South): The people of Aringa South deserve to be called a special tribe here in Uganda. The People of Yumbe have suffered several civil wars. I am sure Gen Moses Ali can explain that better.
Frank Tumwebaze: This Article [102(b)], as long as it remains does not only limit the aspirant but also the voter, because choices are limited.
Jimmy Akena (Lira Municipality, UPC): The first amendment to the constitution was in 1963 to remove the governor General. Secession was real in the 60s. And may be real tomorrow. Are we dealing with this matter in a just and faithful manner? Only 16 people of those I consulted said touch it. Which Ugandans did you consult to tell you to touch it overwhelmingly?
Matia Kasaija (NRM, Buyanja): I am approaching 75, and I read without glasses, speak before you for two hrs... I challenge you to take on me in every human activity. People who say that this Bill is for Museveni, don’t insult us. There are many Ugandans above 75 who want to be president
Peter Sematimba (NRM, Busiro South): I only pray that the time for voting on this matter comes sooner so we can vote.
Justine Khainza (NRM, Bududa) The people of Bududa District are opposed to the amendment.
Stephen Kangwagye (NRM Bukanga): This is the time for us to sit here and deliberate on this so that our people can get the chance to get their leaders. They sent me here to come and touch so that we can continue with good governance.
Veronica Nanyondo: 99 per cent said we don’t touch the constitution. Only 1% said we should amend. In reality of we are legislating for this country, 18yr olds are still in school. How can we open for them to run for presidency?
Okot Ogong (NRM, Dokolo South): I’ve been hearing people saying “I want to touch” what instrument are you going to use? As members of parliament we have the duty to protect and defend this constitution. We need to address this withal very sober mind. We don’t need to hurry with it. We need to get a new team to lead this country. We have a very good team in NRM. We have Hon Rugunda, Ssekandi and the Speaker...