Age Limit: Local Govt Officials Kicked Out of Legal Committee

2062 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Officials from the Uganda Local Government Association--ULGA have today been dismissed from the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee. Led by Lwengo district chairperson George Mutabazi, ULGA told the committee that the association had no position on the age limit Bill since it was not moved under Article 261 which requires ratification by district councils.

Officials from the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA) have been dismissed from the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee this morning.
 
Members of Parliament sitting on the committee noted that the submission made by the representatives of the Association was irrelevant and outside the scope of the Constitution (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2017.
 
The private member's bill tabled by the Igara West MP, Raphael Magyezi seeks among other things to amend Article 102(b), which bars people below 35 and those above 75 years from standing for president.
 
The Bill also seeks to remove the 30-year lower limit and the 75-year upper cap for those contesting for  the post of Local Council Five chairperson provided under Article 183 (2) (b) of the Constitution.
 
The ULGA team was led by their President George Mutabazi who is the Lwengo District Chairperson.
 
Mutabazi in his submission noted that the association had no position on the Bill before the committee since it was not moved under Article 261 which requires ratification by district councils.
 
He told MPs the association chose to be guided by the law and leave the business of the constitution amendment within its rightful premise - the Parliament of Uganda.
 
He went ahead to highlight areas in the constitution that the association feels require amendment especially Chapter 11 but he was cut short by MPs who noted that his entire document was irrelevant to the business before the committee.
 
The Vice Chairperson of the committee, Robinah Rwakoojo, told Mutabazi that the committee was not seeking approval from local governments but merely looking to capture their views on the Bill.
 
Kaberamaido County MP Veronica Elagu Bikyetero noted that ULGA cannot purport to have no position on the Bill when one of the proposals to amend Article 183(2) (b) on the ages of district chairperson candidates directly affects them.
 
Mutabazi said that only 11 district councils out of the 120 had come up with resolutions on the Bill and that ULGA does not take these resolutions to be legally binding.
 
Bukhooli North MP Gaster Mugoya at this point moved that the ULGA officials be dismissed and their document be expunged from the record of the committee since it was irrelevant.
 
Rwakoojo asked the team to take leave and communicate to the committee later on when they would be able to return to present and discuss issues relevant to the Bill before her Committee.