Ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party youths in Igara West county of the western Uganda district of Bushenyi have distanced themselves from MP Raphael Magyezi’s fronting of the controversial Constitution Amendment Bill 2017.
Popularly referred to as the age limit Bill, Magyezi’s motion seeks to delete the age limit in article 102b of Uganda’s constitution to allow three-decade president Yoweri Museveni stand for president beyond the age of 75.
Born in 1944 and in power since 1986, Museveni will be over 75 when Uganda next goes to the poll in 2021.
If Magyezi’s bill goes through, Museveni will extend his 35-year rule beyond 2021 – and could likely become a life president given the fact that the elections since the end of Museveni’s war have been disputed.
The Bill remains largely unpopular – at least judging by public reactions, the hostility with which its supporters have been greeted, and an Afrobarometer poll.
Igara West NRM Youth League chairperson Bukuri Kakooza has told reporters that Magyezi was fronting his agenda and that the legislator had never consulted the locals.
“Those are his personal, or may be his family views but not of the common or local people of Igara West Constituency,” Kakooza said, reasoning that age limit was not “the biggest problem at the moment”.
By prioritizing age limit removal over fighting unemployment and poverty, “Our Member of Parliament, unfortunately, betrayed us”, added Kakooza.
For weeks now, MPs have been consulting their constituents on the bill but the youths say Magyezi is yet to consult them.
“Whenever we call him, he claims to be out of the country, saying he will come to us, but he has never consulted any one about the age limit,” Kakooza claimed.
Kakooza then warned: “We want to remind our brother Raphael that we don’t think the regime loves or wants him, but he is just being used and one day they will dump him and Ugandans will be our witnesses.”