Age Limit : NRM Caucus Asks "Rebel" MPS To Explain Top story

2400 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Each of the legislators that voted against the Bill is required to to write to Party Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa with an explanation.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) parliamentary caucus is yet to seek explanation from its members that voted against a Bill that removed age limits from the constitution.

The Caucus held a closed door meeting at parliament in effort to find consensus on what action should be taken against the 28 party members who voted against the Bill.

The legislators were also expected chart the next course of action now that the Constitutional Amendment Act 2017 is being challenged at the Constitutional Court.

The meeting chaired by Party Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa  on Tuesday reportedly agreed to write to each of the 28 legislators from NRM to explain their stand.

Sources say Nankabirwa questioned why the dissenting MPS did not alert the Party in writing that they would not go against the NRM caucus stand.

The meeting held a day after the Uganda Law Society filed a petition at the Constitutional Court challenging the decision by Parliament to extend current MPS, councilors and the President's tenure for seven years.

The Constitutional (Amendment) Act 2017 among other things removed the presidential age limits, reinstated term limits and increased the term of MPs from five to seven years. It is said have been attended by some of the party's representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly.

Nankabirwa reportedly that explained that the Members of Parliament have failed to understand how the multi-party dispensation works and are working against the party.

Kassanda South MP, Simeo Nsubuga, told journalists that the Legislators that voted against the party position were advised to write to the chief whip to explain their decision. Some of the MPS have publicly said that they wouldn't go against advice by their constituents.

Nsubuga did not say whether those that went aginst the NRM caucus decision would be subjected to disciplinary action but hinted on a possibility of reconciliation.

Meanwhile some of the MPs who voted against the removal say they will continue attending the caucus, but they will not allow to be subjected to any disciplinary action.

Buvuma Islands MP, Robert Migadde will not appear before any committee that may be established to investigate or discipline them over the stand they took. He maintains that he did not do anything wrong.

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Mukono South MP, Johnson Ssenyonga  also  one of  those that voted against the Bill said he was satisfied with the manner in which the NRM  Chief Whip handling the matter.

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 Kinkizi West MP. James Ruugi said they  will wait to see what the chief whip writes to them.

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Some of the NRM MPs who voted against the bill are Hellen Kahunde, Connie Nakayenze Galiwango, Norah Bigirwa, Anthony Ssemuli, Suzan Amero, Loy Katali and Henry Maurice Kibalya. Others are John Baptist Nambeshe, Barnabas Tinkasimire,Theodore Ssekikubo, James Ruugi, Sylvia Rwabwogo and Alex Ruhunda among others.

A total of 317 MPs voted to lift the age limits while 92 opposed the bill which is now an act. President Museveni can now stand in the 2021 elections after article 102b that puts an age limit cap on the candidature for the president at 75 and 35 years was scrapped following the passing of the bill to law.


Mentioned: parliament nrm

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.