The campaign to push for the removal of the presidential age limit clause to make Uganda’s three-decade leader Yoweri Museveni rule for life is gaining support after premier Dr Ruhakana Rugunda gave a youth group pushing for the same his backing.
Museveni, who took power in 1986, will be ineligible for reelection after his current term if article 102b of Uganda’s Constitution is not deleted to remove the upper age limit that bars anyone to stand for president as long as one is above the age of 75.
Born in 1944, Museveni will be over 75 and therefore not eligible to extend his then 35-year old rule when Uganda next goes to the polls in 2021.
But a different groups including NRM activists, MPs aligned to Museveni’s party and youth have come up to help push for the removal of the age limit.
One such group is the Kick Age Limitations Out of the Constitution (Kaloc), a youth group led by leaders from the NRM Youth League and the National Youth Council (NYC). Top leaders include: muslim cleric and Kabale NRM youth league chairman Kassim Kamugisha, and NYC secretary general and NRM youth League Vice chairman for Buganda Ibrahim Kitatta. The other top leaders are NYC and NRM youth league publicity secretary Samuel Odong.
So far, the group has held campaigns in the municipalities of Lira, Soroti, Mbale and Kabale, with a launch being held in the latter.
The youths first dealt withe NRM secretariat which has been introducing them to the top party and government leaders.
One of the leaders the secretariat introduced the Kaloc group’s campaign is Dr Rugunda.
Rugunda has not only revealed that he supports the age limit removal but he has also said he supports the Kaloc’s efforts.
“Yes I meet them; they are my young comrades,” Rugunda told The Observer on Thursday.
“I see nothing that provides a scientific or rational reason that somebody who is above 75 years cannot be president.”
Museveni has distanced himself from the debate on age limit, terming it a waste of time. But his top officials are marketing the idea that could see him rule for life.
Rugunda reportedly met Kaloc on August 31 at his office at the Twin Towers Building, behind Parliament House. In the meeting, Rugunda Rugunda agreed pledged support to Kaloc in their bid to remove the age limit which he termed an “unscientific barrier”.
“As a medical doctor, I have not come across any scientific research that shows that someone below 35 years or above 75 years lacks the capacity to lead. Those are unscientific barriers, leaders should be judged by their continued capacity to advance the socio-economic development,” Rugunda reportedly told the Kaloc pressure group.
Additional Reporting: courtesy