Wednesday October 4 2017

Makerere law dons want Parliament to rescind age limit motion

By Franklin Draku & Anthony Wesaka

KAMPALA- A total of 22 Makerere University law lecturers have signed a petition, demanding that Parliament rescinds its position of allowing the tabling of a motion that seeks to scrap the age limit clause from the Constitution.
The law dons say the ultimate goal of the amendment is to benefit President Museveni like it was with the scrapping of the presidential term limit in 2005.

“As citizens and law teachers, we are concerned with the broader issue of the proposed constitutional amendment to favour a single individual. It is not coincidental because in 2005 when the Constitution was amended to remove the presidential term limits, the sole beneficiary of the amendment was Yoweri Museveni,” the law dons said in their petition.
Led by Dr Sylvia Tamale, the law dons also accuse Speaker Rebecca Kadaga for surrendering her powers to the Executive when security operatives stormed the House to brutally eject the 25 MPs that she had suspended.

“All evidence points to the fact that the rape of the sanctity of Parliament was deliberately planned to intimidate the legislators to pass an amendment that favours a single individual,” the dons added.

The other lecturers are Prof Fredrick W. Jjuuko, D Naggit Musoke, Ernest Kalibbala, Hadijja Namyalo, Yusuf Nsibambi, Maria Nassali, Phiona M Mpanga, Emmanuel Kasimbazi, Ahumuza Diana, Rachel Kigozi, R. Kakungulu M, David J. Bakibinga, Prof Ben K. Twinomugisha, Prof Joe Oloka-Onyango, Ronald Naluwairo, Robert Kirunda, Daniel R. Ruhweza, Associate Prof Christopher Mbazira, Zahara Nampewo, Adoch Caroline and Patricia Atim P’Odong.
They also accused Speaker Kadaga of practising double-standards when she first ruled that the House won’t allow piece-meal amendments of the Constitution that had been brought forward by Nakifuma County MP Robert Sekitoleko.
Mr Sekitoleko had on September 26 last year, tabled a Bill to amend the Constitutional mandatory retirement age for judicial officers and members of the Electoral Commission.

“Evidently, the Speaker backtracked on her position above by allowing the Magyezi proposal, thus turning Parliament into a playing field for the Executive. We condemn the failure by the Speaker to follow the proper procedure laid down in Parliamentary Rules of Procedure in suspending the members,” the lecturers state.