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Legal and Parliamentary affair committee receiving the views of the electoral commission on the age limit bill. Photo Credit: Parliament Watch on Twitter

Uganda Watch Update 4

$1.5m for on age bill

The ruling NRM party has set aside 1.5 million dollars for a weeks consultation countrywide to ask Ugandans back the controversial bill aimed at lifting the age limit from the constitution.

In a communiqué issued by the party, members of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) will transverse the country asking the seemingly hostile population so support the bill aimed to remove the 75 age cap from the constitution seen by many an attempt by President Yoweri Museveni to extend his stay in power longer.  Under the current constitution, Mr. Museveni who is aged 73 would not contest for the next elections in 2021. 

Clergy snubs Committee

The Uganda Inter- religious council, an umbrella body that brings together all religious denominations in country turned down an invitation to appear before the legal and parliamentary affairs committee that is scrutinizing the age limit bill.

Instead the religious leaders that included the archbishop of Church of Uganda Stanley Ntagari, the mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Mubajje and Archbishop of Kampala Dr Cyprian Lwanga issued a press release in which they called for a referendum before any amendment is done to article 102b of the constitution.  They asked parliament to respect the framers of the 1995 constitution and respect the voices of Ugandans.

More recently Makerere University Law dons and former Prime Minister Prof Apollo Nsibambi declined invitations from the committee. 

More MPs return bribe money

Another 8 members of parliament have returned money given to them for consultations on lifting the age limit from the constitution.  Last week parliamentarians were each given Shs 29million ($8,000) to facilitate their constituency consultations on whether the constitution should be amended to remove presidential age limits. The eight who returned the money called it a bribe. The latest to return the money was MP Roland Kaginda who said that voters told him never to seek their votes before he returned the money.

Crowds attack MPs

Voters in different areas of the country are showing their discontent with the proposal to amend the constitution to remove the age limit going by the number of attacks on their members of parliament. One member of Parliament Anthony Okello was rescued from a crowd attacking him by police firing tear gas to disperse the crowd.  Mr Okello was however injured in the fracas in the northern Uganda district of Amolator. Several people were injured in the fracas. Recently the Woman MP of same district Doreen Amule was also attacked by a mob when she went for consultation.

The most senior person to be attacked is General Moses Ali who is the first deputy Prime Minister and leader of government business in parliament.  Gen Ali was heckled and attacked by angry youth opposed to the lifting of the age limit forcing him to abandon the meeting.

MP Joseph Kakooza was forced to flee from his constituency after angry residents threatened to lynch him when he came to consult them.

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