Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Museveni has in his new year address saluted the Members of Parliament (MPs) that supported the ‘Age Limit’ Bill.
“I want to salute the 317 MPs who defied intimidation, malignment and blackmail and opted for a flexible constitution to deal with the destiny issues of Africa instead of maintaining Uganda on the path of unimaginative, non-ideological, neo-colonial status quo ,” he said as he concluded his new year address on Sunday that covered issues related to security, economy, integration, Africa and the Congo.
“By so doing, they enabled us to avoid the more complicated paths that would have been required,” he added.
The Constitution Amendment Bill 2017 was in the week before Christmas passed with the requried two-thirds majority. The vote result was 317 yes, 97 no.
The MPs passed the tenure of parliament to be extended from five to seven years. The MPs approved a 7-year term forand local governments positions starting with ongoing term.
This was quickly followed by approval of article 102 (b), lifting the age limit of 75 for one to contest for presidency.
Finally the House reinstated the presidential terms in the constitution by passing clause 105 of the Bill. The clause states that, “A person shall not hold office as President for more than two terms.”
In his address on Sunday, Museveni termed his critics liars. “Liars who talk of life presidency of Museveni should be exposed. They’re uninformed, or schemers who don’t want Uganda and Africa to succeed.”
He hailed the MPs who supported the NRM party’s position on the Age Limit bill. “The 317 are like the 28 cadres of Montepuez, Mozambique who played a part in the formation of the Fronasa Army, the 43 fighters with 27 rifles played when they attacked Kabamba and the 232 MPs of the 7th Parliament played in opening up the term limits that have enabled Uganda to cover more ground.”
He added that “The 317 MPs should deepen their understanding of NRM ideology, get out of careerism and become durable soldiers of African Revolution. They should boldly and persistently mobilize the masses to get out of poverty.”
On regional security, he reassured the country and explained the UPDF’s recent raid on the rebel camps in the DRC.
“On the side of security, I want to, again, assure Ugandans of their security. In order to send a message to the terrorists, the UPDF launched an air and Artillery attack on ADF who continue to freely use Eastern Congo to train, recruit and send assassins in Uganda like the ones who killed a number of Sheikhs last year,” Museveni said.
“They got their punishment,” he said.
He said if the Congolese Government so decides, Uganda can assist them to uproot the ADF from that area. “The attack on Friday, 22nd December, 2017 should have shown the ADF that Eastern Congo is not heaven. It is reachable. If the region (the Great Lakes) decides, Eastern Congo can be pacified by combined efforts.”
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