Age Limit Debate Set For Monday in Parliament Top story

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In short
Parliament will on Monday, December 18, receive the report on the controversial age limit bill, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has said. While delivering her communication to parliament this afternoon, Kadaga reported that she had received both the main report and minority report from the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee which has been consulting on the Constitution Amendment No.2 Bill, 2017.

Parliament will on Monday, December 18, receive the report on the controversial 'age limit' bill, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has said. 
 
While delivering her communication to parliament this afternoon, Kadaga reported that she had received both the main report and minority report from the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee which has been consulting on the Constitution (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2017.
                                                                            
She gave notice that Parliament will be convening on Monday at 9:00am so that both reports are tabled and for sufficient time for Memebers of Parliament to debate them.
 
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Kadaga's communication comes after long speculation and uncertainty whether or not the report on the proposed removal of presidential age limits will come up for discussion this week.
 
The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee chaired by the West Budama South MP Jacob Oboth-Oboth was expected to table its report before parliament this week on the controversial Bill which was brought to Parliament by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi.
 
The Committee is reported to have endorsed the proposal to amend Article 102(b) of the Constitution, which caps the presidential age between 35 and 75 years.
 
The proposed amendment requires approval of 290 of the 436 MPs at both its second and third reading for it to pass. 

Members of the opposition and some from the ruling NRM party say the move is only meant to extend President Yoweri Museveni's rule beyond 2021 when his current term of office expires. Born in 1944, Museveni will have ruled Uganda for 35 years at the end of his current term. But the constitution bars him from extending his rule beyond 2021 as he will be above 75 years of age. 

A leaked committee report quoted in the local media indicates that the MPs sitting on the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee supported the amendment of Article 102(b) saying it is contrary to the spirit of Article 1 of the Constitution of Uganda.
 
 "Article 102(b) threatens democracy since Article 1 grants the people of Uganda the right to determine who leads them and how they are ruled. Therefore restricting their choice on account of age would deny them the opportunity to fully exercise their freedom to decide who leads them." reads part of the reported leaked report.
 
The committee is further reported to argue in the report that Article 102(b) of the Constitution has the effect of marginalisation against the youth and elderly by limiting them from offering their candidature for President.
 
The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee last week concluded their retreat at Serena Resort Kigo in which they prepared the report immediately after interfacing with President Yoweri Museveni at State House Entebbe.
 
"The presence of age limits for any elective office goes against Article 1 of the 1995 Constitution, the bedrock of that supreme law, which says "Power belongs to the people," said President Museveni.        

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.