Details from a meeting between Uganda’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party National Executive Council (NEC) members and party chairperson Yoweri Museveni on the controversial Constitutional Amendment Bill 2017.
The proposed amendment, popularly known as The Age Limit Bill, seeks to delete the upper age limit in article 102b of the constitution to allow three-decade former bush war general Museveni contest for president beyond the age of 75.
Museveni was born in 1944, has been in power since 1986, and is not ready to leave power.
He recently openly said he supported age limit removal, and has since been wooing members of his party structures – from parliamentary caucus to the Central Executive Committee (CEC) and now NEC.
In last week’s NEC meeting, members “resolved to enthusiastically join the majority of their colleague members of NEC who are NRM MPs in unanimously and overwhelmingly supporting the Bill”, according to a statement by NRM’s communications officer Rogers Mulindwa.
“They also resolved to call upon the people of Uganda to discuss these matters with mutual respect and tolerance, and in a peaceful and lawful manner,” added Mulindwa in a statement issued Saturday.
But sources that attended the meeting have since revealed that Museveni reportedly asked for more time to deal with unfinished business.
Other sources also revealed that Museveni complained that five-year presidential terms were unnecessarily short.
“I am a freedom fighter who has fought many wars; I cannot leave things like that. I have to plan,” Museveni reportedly told NEC Members, further defending age limit deletion: “It is not about the age, it is the service you render.”
Museveni has also been quoted as saying: “After elections, you spend about one year settling in and before you know it, another electioneering period sets in”, suggesting that another amendment could see the a presidential term of office extended.