Monday January 1 2018

Museveni lauds MPs for passing age limit bill

President Museveni

President Museveni  


President Yoweri has welcomed the passing of the controversial 'age limit' bill seeking to amend article 102 (b) of the constitution.

The article barred anyone below 35 or above 75 years from standing for the country's highest office.

On December 20, a total of 317 MPs voted in favour of the bill while 97 voted against it.

Two members abstained from the vote.

President Museveni while delivering his end of year and New Year message on Sunday evening praised the 317 legislators who supported the amendments saying they played a great role when the country was at crossroads.

Mr Museveni compared the 317 MPs to the role played by the 27 fighters who started the war that brought him to power 31 years ago. He also compared them to the 232 MPs of the 7th parliament who opened up the presidential term limits in September 2005.

The president rubbished those arguing that age limit removal would create room for his life presidency saying they are uninformed evil schemers who do not want Uganda and Africa to succeed.

Mr Museveni argued that some portion of the political class, the clergy, academia and the media concentrate on 'peripheral' issues such as age limit and term limits instead of other developmental issues.

"The real democracy we fought for provides that all power belongs to the people. They are the ones to decide their destiny through universal suffrage at regular intervals or through their representatives," Mr Museveni said.

He added: "Some of the elements, however, mainly working with foreigners try to impose pseudo democracy where the power of the people is constrained by term limits, age limits, even educational qualifications, periphery issues. Power belongs to the people and they are the ones who should decide how they should be governed."

The president also attacked religious leaders especially those who were against the age limit bill for being arrogant. Quoting Mathew Chapter 26:57-75 in the bible, President Museveni referred to the religious leaders as Caiaphas, the Highest Priest, who turned Jesus over to Pontius Pilate's soldiers.

Mr Museveni said some religious leaders have left what they are supposed to do and are doing what they are not supposed to do.

President Museveni's New Year message was aired live by major television and radio stations in the country, both private and public, following an order from the licensing body, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), a move that was seen by political observers as dictatorial.