A National Resistance Movementâ€”NRM Member of Parliament has proposed that all elective positions should have term limits, two days after legislators began the process to restore presidential term limits.
Mbarara Municipality MP, Medard Bitekyerezo says having term limits will enhance good governance in Uganda. He observes that there are lawmakers who have been in the House since the Constituent Assembly in 1994.
Bitekyerezo, a first timer in parliament after trouncing John Arimpa Kigyagyi in February 2011, wants Uganda to set a precedence by having term limits for not only the President but also other elective posts that have over the years proved to be competitive. Such positions include Members of Parliament and District Chairpersons. He proposes two or three terms of office.
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In his view, Bitekyerezo believes that it is time legislators became fair and patriotic through having term limits. With more than 34 million people and an average of 15 million eligible voters, the legislator wants to avoid the monopoly of a few people dominating parliament. He cites the example of the East African Legislative Assembly where its legislators, drawn from the five-member states, serve for a maximum of two five-year terms.
But Gerald Karuhanga, the man behind the move to restore term limits, notes that the proposal by Bitekyerezo is diversionary. Karuhanga says that proposing that MPs have term limits is not only impractical but also unrealistic. He explains that a single MP cannot be a dictator in a place like parliament where more than 300 people are elected. But a position of the president can be misused if the term limits are not restored.
Bitekyerezo faces an uphill task to convince his colleagues. He can only hope that other members will agree and sign on his motion. A similar move by James Kakooza, Kabula County MP to extend the presidential five-year term to seven years fell on the way. He had argued that five years was too short to realise any significant development.