MPs shelve ‘dangerous’ Museveni age limit bill

Museveni, First Lady and Chief Justice

Museveni, First Lady and Chief Justice

Nakifuma MP Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko was Wednesday forced to shelve a private member’s bill seeking to remove the controversial presidential age limit as stated by the constitution of Uganda.

Ssekitooleko was supposed to table his bill on August 10 but later changed his mind and withdrew it.

During plenary presided over by Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, Ssekitoleko was given leave to table the motion seeking leave to introduce a private member’s bill under article 94(4)(b) of Constitution.

As soon as he hit the floor, opposition Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] Secretary General Nandala Mafabi was ready to tear Ssekitoleko apart.

“What Hon. Kafeero Ssekitoleko is introducing is dangerous and we don’t have copies of his motion,” Mafabi complained to the deputy speaker.

In response, Oulanyah asked Ssekitoleko to make copies of his motion on the Private members Bill seeking to amend the constitution, saying until he has enough copies for all the 425 MPs, Ssekitooleko’s motion will for now be stayed.

The Constitutional (Amendment) Bill 2016 seeks to remove limits on the tenure of commissioners of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and extend the retirement age for judges.

Through the bill, Ssekitoleko seeks to have the constitutional 75-age-limit on the president abolished.

The bill also intends to change the mode of appointment of the Attorney General so he/she holds office for seven years.

They also want the retirement age for judges extended from the current 65 to 75 years.

However, Ruth Nankabirwa, the government chief whip, is quoted by The Observer saying government isn’t behind the bill although she is willing to have discussions with the sponsors as well as consult the Prime Minister, Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

It was the same legislator who in September 2013, peddled a bill seeking to extend the terms of all elected political leaders from five to seven years.

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