NRM leaders in Buzaaya vote against age limit bill

Buzaaya County Youth Coordinator, Mr Robert Sande argues with a police officer after some people were blocked from the consultative meeting. Photo by Sam Opio Caleb

KAMULI- Leaders of the ruling National Resistance Movement in Buzaaya, Kamuli District have voted against the impending removal of age limit for presidential candidates from the Constitution.

The leaders made the resolution during a Saturday consultation meeting that was convened by the Buzaaya  Member of Parliament, Mr Isaac Musumba, at Nawanyago Technical Institute.

The consultation meeting that was meant to rally party loyalists to favour the impending amendment that is seen by a section of Ugandans as a ploy to pave way for President Yoweri Museveni, 73, to contest in 2021, however, turned rowdy when the party leaders in the area tried to bar some members of the public from accessing the venue.

Mr Isaac Musumba, the Buzaaya MP explains to journalists details of the resolution by NRM party supporters in the area. Photo by Sam Opio Caleb

If the Constitution is not amended, Mr Museveni would not qualify to contest since the current age cap for presidential candidates is 75.

People who had been blocked threatened to join opposition parties since NRM had decided to “orphan” them.

“President Museveni went to the bush to fight dictators who were overstaying in power and promised to restore democracy. Now he is falling victim of his own fundamental change. He should build a legacy for the NRM Party,” Mr Hamis Dheyongera, the Wankole NRM Councillor said.

Mr Mwase Kizito, a councillor representing People With Disabilities expressed concern that the “frequent amendments of the Constitution” to favour a particular individual would one day see President Museveni remove special interest groups, the moment he realises that they are no longer useful to his political interests.

The leaders blamed some “sycophants and handlers” of President Museveni for “misleading him” adding that it is not even necessary to spend money on MPs to consult voters on the issue of age limit.

Mr Musumba said he was disappointed by the outcome but had no alternative apart from respecting the people’s voice.

 “The people have spoken; although personally I am disappointed, we shall continue consulting, sensitising and mobilizing,” he told journalists before driving from the venue.

Members of Parliament are currently consulting their respective constituents after the controversial Private Members Bill was recently tabled by Igara West MP, Mr Raphael Magyezi.

The bill tackles various electoral laws but the most explosive issue is the amendment of the age limit for presidential candidates.