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AGE LIMIT: The full story from in, and out of parliament

MP Ssemujju and Otafire talk in parliament Thursday

Rugunda explains security actions

In his response, the leader of Government Business in parliament and Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda justified the heavy deployment around parliament prompting heckling from opposition MPs and some independents.

“This debate has caused some bit of violence, tension and political excitement in some areas which could easily get out of hand. It is absolutely necessary for security organs to be on alert to ensure that preventive measures are taken to safe guard parliament and the country,” said Rugunda.

There was also drama in the house as Samuel Odonga Otto (Aruu North,FDC) moved a motion that one of the architects of the age limit motion, State Minister of Finance for Investment and Privatization Evelyn Anite (Koboko municipality) be dragged to the disciplinary committee and suspended from the house for eight years.

Aruu County MP Odonga Otto asked that the minister be taken to the parliamentary disciplinary committee for endangering lives of MPs purported to be supporting the lifting of presidential age limits.

Otto who raised a procedural issue under rule 163 said “Anite’s political antics are endangering lives of MPs” purported to be supporting the lifting of presidential age limits.

Otto accused Anite of publishing an attendance list of pro-age limit MPs in the media hence putting their lives in danger.

“Anite displayed an attendance list of MPs to the media and said that it was a list of those who had endorsed the lifting of the presidential age limit and as a result, a woman has this afternoon been attacked by a mob in down town Kampala, thinking that she was Juliet Ssuubi Kinyamatama  (Rakai, NRM),” said Otto.

Several ministers, including the Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa had early in the day held an elaborate press conference to explain that cabinet supported the Age Limit motion.

The current laws on presidential elections mandates candidates be between 35 and 75.

In 2005 parliament passed a constitutional amendment removing presidential term limits which allowed Museveni to stand for a third, fourth and fifth term.

At the climax of the heated debate in Parliament, deputy speaker Oulanya decided to adjourn the house.

“There are two problems and they are big problems; one is that members are not ready to sit and the second problem is that the speaker is not ready to chair a parliament that does not want to sit. Therefore, this house is adjourned to Tuesday at 2:00 o’clock,” ruled Oulanya.

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4 comments

  1. Anyone looking at the behaviour of the opposition would immediatley make a shallow analysis like Mr. Mwenda and say that the opposition is being unfair because NRM has the”right” to change the constitution. While this myopic assessment is delivered with finality that should cease all debate one has to realize that the chaos by opposition has deeper historical and issues in the status quo of Ugandan politics. First , in a situation where an oppressive an dbrutal regime refuses public expression by the opposition the only avenue left for FDC MPS is to make life hard for them in parliament. Why should anyone think that its ok for the M7 regime to cynically cite “security concerns” and brutally crash publlc resistance then expect that the MPs will be docile and cowed.
    whereas I agree that age limit and term limits is accepted in many countries , and should not be an issue in Uganda; we should remember that M7 shot his way to power in 1986 and has contnued to use the military and all manner of nefarious activities to stay in power. We all know in Uganda that the elections are anything but free and fair so to cynically tell MPs to campaign harder assumes that the electoral process in Uganda is free. The main concern with age limit is M7 has overstayed his welcome and we know that NRM will never allow to defeated at the polls. They choose the electoral commission , they choose the judges, they control police who are used to rig elections every 10 years. Therefore the framers of the 1995 constitution realized that Uganda is not like USA or UK. Uganda has a history of bad leaders wanting to over stay in power. It is interesting that only leaders in the world who forced their way into power seek to change the constitution. If M7 had set a solid foundation and vison for Uganda through the NRM party , then it would not matter even if he left power cause NRM would continue to pursue this vision. However we all know that NRM is held together by the cult of perosnality of M7. Therefore , yes the majority party has the right to change the law but a regime that has suppressed public freedoms and stole its way into power does not have that right and needs to be resisted by all means. After 35 years, anyone educated Ugandan can see for themselves that we need new ideas. I wil even hazard a guess that 70% of NRM mps are not iin because they believe in M7 ; they all just want personal gain and primitive accumulation of wealth and M7 is aware about this . M 7 has no friends just ask Kategaya, Mbabazi, Mayombo, Aronda, Mushega, etc etc…

  2. i thank m7 for his hard working,development and many other good works he did while on power as present for over 20 years, uplifting rural areas to urban areas i thank him so so much for and many people believe that am very right BUT if it is a rule that after the age limit mentioned above,there must be a change in leadership,so it is very important to follow and should be in a peaceful way .secondly as a leader we need to respect him and speak to him in a respectful way not in abusive language because some people has bad and hurting wards which is not good and will cause conflict among m7 and his supporters, and other opposition members.

    • mr. m7 only listens to you when you tell him pakalast otherwise you are his enermy. for God’s Shake M7’s Era Must Come To An End.

  3. u have publicly mentioned the appetite for money by some pipo in the media citing Andrew mwenda and most nrm mpz but what iz very clear iz DAT most ov thoze mpz will not return to in the 11th parliament due to denial and betrayal we shall not vote them back so let them continue milking m7 autocratic regime just like the owner of this news paper,when the independent had just started back in days it had many intellectual customer readers becoz it would report with equality but per now intellectual customer news paper buyers have shifted to other media y…..

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