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Uganda’s opposition list four demands on age limit bill

BY Tom Mugisha,

KAMPALA – Uganda’s leader of opposition in parliament has listed four reasons for which they want the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2017 be withdrawn.

Winnie Kizz told parliament on Thursday that the bill that seeks repeal Article 102(b) of the Constitution to lift the 75-year age limit on the presidency is ill-intented to serve the interests of President Museveni.

She instead called for a Comprehensive Amendment Bill; a Constitution Review Commission; adoption of Supreme Court recommendations on electoral reforms and adoption of Parliament recommendations on Constitution Amendment.

She said the 1995 Constitution was promulgated with hindsight to a history of conflict and human rights violations and that the same should be avoided by maintaining the contested Article.

“Repealing Article 102(b) at the moment is very dangerous as it is being done for only one possible beneficiary, the current president and his political party,” Kiiza said.

President Museveni, now 73, will be ineligible to contest again in 2021 if the Article is not amended. The Article bars a person aged below 35 or above 75 from standing for presidency.

The supporters of the bill say the Article 102(b) is discriminative and want it repealed but the opposition say the proposed is intended extend the 31-year rule of Museveni.

Kiiza further told parliament that the matter of Constitution amendment should be referred to a Constitution Review Commission, where the Bill would only act as an issue of concern but the Constitution would be reviewed as a whole as opposed to piecemeal amendments on the age limit.

“It is our considered view that this Bill be referred back to the government to form part of the wider views…that should be taken to the Constitution Review Commission,” she said.

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