Ugandan Members of Parliament have realised the mistake they made in removing presidential term limits and resorted to cursing each other.
According to the constitution, a president is not supposed to stand beyond the age of 75 years.
There are even court cases trying to bar President Yoweri Museveni from standing in 2016 but to no avail.
In June 2005, a total of 232 MPs voted in favour of the motion, 50 against and one abstained leading to the scrapping of term limits.
Curses and regrets
In yesterday’s plenary, the Butambala Woman MP, Mariam Nalubega, said she “would have loved to see parliament review term limits for both MPs and the Presidency”.
She was supported by Mbale Municipality MP, Wamanga Wamai, who thanked the people that worked on the 1995 constitution in regard to term limits.
“It is so sad that some MPs were given only Shs 5m to eliminate term limits,” Wamai sounded disappointed.
He said the qualification of an MP should be a bachelors’ degree and this would help reduce the number of MPs from 425 to 200.
“We don’t have the resources for 425 MPs.”
NRM rebel MP, Barnabas Tinkasiimire, was also in support: “I wish we would take up one of the proposals of minority report on restoration of term limits.”
“I am glad that legal committee rejected the proposal to lift the age limit of judges.”
In the same plenary, the Attorney General said government had agreed to withdraw clause 4(a) that makes it mandatory for an MP to lose his seat if he leaves a political party.
“An MP retains his constituency up until when the term of office expires, after the creation of new counties,” Fred Ruhindi informed the house.
MP Ssemuju Nganda while expressing his disappointment said: “This country belongs to all of us, we shouldn’t believe that we will remain in power forever.”
He added: “I hope that, for the first NRM will have free and fair elections in its own party.”
He said to become a commissioner in Electoral Commission, one has to be a failed NRM candidate, “how do you hold such an institution in high regard?”
MP Nandala Mafabi predicted that 70% of all of members of Parliament will not come back in next parliament warning that the bill would soon catch up with them.
“There are many MPs with special interests in new counties and they are making the most noise, disrupting debate,” Mafabi said as supported by MP Paul Mwiru who said the counties they are creating will cost Ugandans money.
Speaker adjourned the debate on Constitution Amendment bill to next week Tuesday.