Age Limit: Parliament Issues Deadline for Consultations

Uganda is inching closer to a decision on the controversial Constitution Amendment Bill 2017 after Parliament set a deadline for consultations as it issued out a total of Shs 13bn (about $3.6m) to over 400 MPs to consult their constituents.

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.

Parliament’s director of communications and public affairs announced Monday that consultations would begin Wednesday October 25.

But Obore’s communication is just official since MPs have been consulting their voters for about a month now.

According to Obore, the consultations will end on November 08.

It remains unclear what mode of consultation Parliament has recommended.

The NRM party has told its members to consult a few leaders in their constituencies.

The opposition of the other hand has elected to use rallies.

Police has interpreted the NRM position as official, banning age limit consultation rallies.

It is also unclear if the consultations will serve their purpose – getting the views of the people on the highly controversial matter.

Some NRM MPs have been accused of only inviting their party members to the consultation rallies.

In Luweero district, for example, some 38 residents of Kamira sub-county in Luweero have petitioned Bamunanika County MP John Chrysostom Muyingo for locking those opposed to age limit removal out of consultative meetings.

Whichever way the consultations go, the views of the people are expected to be presented before Parliament’s legal affairs committee, and the whole house for discussion.

It is also expected that a vote by MPs will finally decide whether to delete or maintain the age limit.

Samuel Kamugisha