Controversial MP Ssekitoleko of the age limit bill on becoming MP without O, A level certificates
Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko, the parliamentary representative for Nakifuma constituency in Mukono district was little known until recently when he moved a motion to make three amendments to the constitution. One amendment is to remove limits on the tenure of members of the Electoral Commission, the other is to permit any other person, apart from the candidate, and the third seeks to raise the retirement age of judges of the High Court, Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeal to 75 years.
Ssekitoleko said while his amendment Bill is well intentioned, it came at the time when people were anticipating an amendment of the constitution to remove the age limit of being president of Uganda at 75 years.
Ssekitoleko says he has no interest in lifting the age limit for being president and that he is focusing on judges because they are currently sent into retire at the time when they have just mastered their job and making fewer mistakes.
“Our judges are retired but not tired,” he says, “After they retire here, other countries hire them and at times the government hires them on contract. Why should we tell them to go when we still need them?”
Ssekitoleko says his proposals have fetched him a lot of criticism but he will not drop them. He says it’s in his nature not to give up on something he thinks is right. He says he wouldn’t be MP now if he gave in to the pressures of his party; the NRM, during primary elections when Tanga Odoi, the chairman of Electoral Commission disqualified him over not having the required academic qualifications.
He says his perseverance is from way back. Even when his single mother could not raise money to pay for him to sit for Ordinary Level exams, Ssekitoleko never dropped out of school. He instead, with the help of his youth Chaplain, enrolled for free for a course of motor vehicle technician at St. Joseph’s institute Kisubi which under normal circumstances was pursued by senior two leavers.
It’s at this institute that his life was turned around as, upon completion two years later, he got a tool box as a gift and also a job.
From this job he managed to sustain himself through school at Uganda polytechnic Kyambogo where he attained an advanced certificate in motor vehicle technician then upgraded to a diploma in mechanical engineering before finally pursuing a Bachelors degree in mechanical and manufacturing engineering at Kyambogo University in 2002.
Ssekitoleko’s lite side
Any three things we don’t know about you?
I like playing football. I am a midfielder. I also like kids mainly when they are still toddlers and may be now many don’t know that I have no intention of including anything about presidential term limit in the constitution amendment bill.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being free as when I hang out by the lake side and I am not worried about anything.
What is your greatest fear?
I fear being misunderstood that’s why I try as much as possible to explain to people.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I call a spade a spade and my mother used to tell me that ‘when you are talking to a lady never be as straight as you are because at times it hurts people’. I’ve already suffered because of this. I walked to my boss and told him what he was doing wasn’t proper and I earned myself a suspension.