Bribery, Coaching Mar Ssekandi's Age Limit Consultations Top story

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In short
According to information obtained by URN, prior to his visit to Kyesiga and Kyanamukaka sub counties, Ssekandi sent a team led by Mulindwa Birimumaaso, a senior presidential advisor to select and register those who would participate in the consultations.

The Vice President, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi has kicked started his consultations on the presidential age limit in Masaka amidst allegations of bribery, coaching and targeting selected NRM party members. Ssekandi represents Bukoto Central constituency and is a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party.

 
There have been concerns in Bukoto Central constituency over the failure by Ssekandi to hold consultative meetings on the proposed constitutional amendment. Voters in Kabonera, Kyesiga and Kyanamukaka sub counties told Mary Babirye Kabanda, the Masaka Woman MP to tell Ssekandi not to bother consulting them, saying they are opposed to proposed scrapping of the presidential age limit. 

They instead asked Ssekandi and President Yoweri Museveni to retire from active politics since they fell in the same age bracket. Despite the voter's stand, Ssekandi has finally rolled out his consultation meetings amidst allegations of bribery and targeting selected individuals. 

According to information obtained by URN, prior to his visit to Kyesiga and Kyanamukaka sub counties, Ssekandi sent a team led by Mulindwa Birimumaaso, a senior presidential advisor to select and register those who would participate in the consultations. The advance team met the selected individuals and briefed them on what to say during the consultative meetings.

 
The list was allegedly used to screen those accessing the venue for the consultative meetings. Those whose names didn't appear on the list were turned away. Paul Migadde, the former Kyanamukaka sub county LC3 Chairman alleges that those selected to participate in the consultations were told to support the proposed amendment.

 
Migadde says that when he questioned the criteria used to select participants he was told that only NRM party leaders in the constituency were invited for the consultations.
he says when he probed further,  he was told they didn't want people who will embarrass president, Museveni and Ssekandi at the consultative meeting.


URN has also learnt that those who attended the consultations received between Shillings 5000 and 50,000 depending on their leadership status. Joseph Kazibwe, one of the NRM leaders who attended the consultations, says they were transported to the meeting venue at Mutima Gardens in Kyanamukaka Sub County. At least 450 people turned up for the consultations. 


He says each participant received an allowance after the consultations. Speaking during the consultation meetings, Ssekandi defended the proposed scrapping of article 102 (b) of the constitution, saying there is nothing wrong with deleting the presidential age limit to allow president Museveni to extend his reign.
 
  
Ssekandi lashed out at Democratic Party members for fighting the proposed amendment, saying they are misguided.
 

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Mary Babirye Kabanda, the Masaka Woman MP who first consulted in Masaka, says most of the voters said no to the age limit removal. 

She says most of the voters are opposed to the extension of president, Museveni's leadership because of dwindling services and evictions from landing sites.

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.