YEAR IN REVIEW: December 2017
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Oct.03: That is when Raphael Magyezi, the Igara West MP, finally tabled the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2017, that sought among other issues, to scrap from the Constitution Article 102 (b).
The article barred anyone aged below 35 and above 75 from standing for presidency. Most opposition MPs boycotted the sitting and Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga immediately referred the Bill to the House Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for expedited scrutiny. She also sent MPs on a consultation recess with a Shs29 million allowance each, that opposition MPs describes as a bribe from President Yoweri Museveni.
Debate started immediately when MPs returned from recess in December and Museveni stated publicly his support for the constitution to be amended.
Dec. 5: President Museveni meets the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs and told them that being president is not a sport in the Olympic which requires one to be physically fit. He said it is a guiding role where one needs ideology to govern.
Dec 12: NRM MPs overwhelmingly backed a proposal to extend the parliamentary term of office from five to seven years. While at a caucus meeting, the NRM MPs make a demand that the proposal takes effect with the current term they are already serving. President Museveni backed the plan and said a five-year term is short; even for the presidency.
Dec 18: The Parliamentary Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs tables a report on the Constitutional Amendment Bill seeking to expunge Article 102 (b) from the Constitution. The Archbishop of Gulu Arch Diocese John Baptist Odama described MPs backing the move to amend the constitution as a “a group of greedy individuals”. He said their actions would ensure “a bad future for the country” which went rough times in the past and does not have to repeat them