David Lukyamuzi Kalwanga, the Busujju County Member of Parliament is the latest legislator to openly oppose the lifting of the presidential age limits. An NRM-leaning Independent, Kalwanga accuses President Yoweri Museveni of trying to use Parliament to fulfil his personal ambitions.
Kalwanga, who is an NRM-leaning Independent MP, today spoke out against the proposed amendment of Article 102(b) of the constitution, accusing President Yoweri Museveni of trying to use Parliament to fulfil his personal ambitions.
Kalwanga brings to 13 the number of NRM or NRM-leaning MPs opposed to the proposed amendment.
He is the third MP in a space of one week to be unveiled on the side of the NRM legislators against the removal of age limits following last week's unveiling of Maracha East MP James Acidri and Kinkizi West MP James Kaberuka.
In his statement to Journalists today at parliament, Kalwanga said that he was representing the views of his people and not himself.
"Constitutional Amendment is one of our mandates as MPs, but we are only and only going to do it in favour of this country, we are not going to do it for someone's interest," said Kalwanga.
Having attended previous NRM parliamentary caucus meetings despite being an Independent MP, Kalwanga noted that he will not be going back to the caucus since it is trying to keep them away from the will of their people.
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The NRM Caucus last week resolved that the consultative meetings by the ruling NRM party MPs are going to be conducted with only the duly elected leaders at the local government level. These will include district chairpersons, sub county chairpersons and the councillors.
Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa also noted that opinion leaders in the different areas including religious leaders and elders are to be invited to the consultations which are to be convened at the Constituency Conferences.
Kalwanga appealed to President Yoweri Museveni to listen to the voice of Ugandans who he said are opposed to the lifting of the presidential age cap.
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He claimed that many MPs do not support the proposed lifting of the presidential age limit but they just fear to come out and speak against it.
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In what they described as a bold step taken by their colleague, a section of the NRM MPs opposed to the scrapping of the presidential age limit celebrated Kalwanga's openness on the 'age limit' bill by cutting a cake at parliament's Members' Lounge.
These included MPs Theodore Ssekikubo, Patrick Nsamba Oshabe, Sam Lyomoki, John Baptist Nambetshe and James Kaberuka.
Nsamba said that Kalwanga had liberated himself and the people of Busujju County by taking a decision to openly speak out against the proposed 'age limit' bill.
Nambetshe said that their increasing number is going to enable them deny the proponents of the bill, the required two-thirds majority to pass it.
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Tabled by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi, the Constitutional (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2017 seeks among others to scrap Article 102(b) of the constitution, which caps the presidential age at 75 years.
If pushed through, the amendment would eliminate the last hurdle for President Yoweri Museveni to seek re-election when his term of office expires in 2021. President Museveni, who was born in 1944, wouldn't be eligible to contest for the presidency in 2021, since he will be above 75 years of age.