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AGE LIMIT: Parliament disrupted a second time

Uganda Parliament sitting September 26. PHOTO UGANDA PARLIAMENT MEDIA

The calm before the storm

After the search was done, Energy Minister Irene Muloni was able to present a statement on the status of preparedness of the oil and gas sub-sector.

Other items on the order paper were also discussed.

The mood then deteriorated after the speaker dictated that the motion seeking leave of Parliament to draft and present a private member’s bill seeking the scrapping of the presidential age limit, which caps the President’s age at 75 years be considered first, despite the fact that the motion to institute a Constitutional Review Commission by Patrick Nsamba Oshabe (Kassanda North,NRM ) was filed earlier at the speaker’s chambers.

Sseggona raised a procedural matter saying the speaker’s ruling was in contravention of the rules of procedure which require that motions be handled according to the date of submissions of notices to the speaker’s chambers.

“You have sailed us so well so far! This time, We are concerned that you are being stampeded by members who want their business handled contrary to the manner stipulated by the rules,” Sseggona said.

Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga, NRM), the seconder of Nsamba’s motion confirmed that their notice of motion was submitted on the September 18, 2017 while that of Magyezi was submitted on September 22, 2017.

“Rule 26 (3) of the rules of procedure stipulates that the clerk must have an order book in which all motions intended for discussion at each sitting must be written in succession order. We pray for your fairness Madam speaker,” said Ssekikubo.

Delaying tactics

At this point, the delaying tactics started with Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga standing to read from the constitution without stating whether it was an issue of procedure or otherwise.

The attempt by the deputy attorney general Mwesigwa Rukutana (Rushenyi,NRM) to raise a point of order was met with singing and seat thumping from the anti-age limit Mps provoking equally loud retorts from their opponents, the pro-age limit MPs. “We shall touch it! We shall touch it!,” they chanted, meaning they were ready to change the constitution in defiance of the opposition, whose slogan is  “Tojikwatako” (do not touch it).

Amidst the non-stop singing of the Uganda National Anthem, banging tables and seat thumping, Kadaga could hardly be heard adjourning the House to Wednesday at 2pm.

This is the second time in five days, for parliament to be adjourned under similar circumstances.

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