The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has barred legislators from discussing the proposed Constitutional (Amendment) Bill that seeks to remove the presidential age limit.
In her communication during plenary, Kadaga said she doesn’t know where the agitation and excitement on the proposed bill is coming from. The media has been awash with stories and commentaries on the proposal by government to amend article 102(b) of the Constitution, which sets the presidential age limit at 75 years.
During the plenary, Kadaga tasked the Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana to state government’s position on the matter. In his response, Rukutana said he wasn’t aware of the source of the debate on the proposed constitutional amendment bill.
Following Rukutana’s submission, Kadaga directed MPs against any other discussions on the matter.
Kadaga also said a number of MPs are living in fear after receiving threats from the public over the talk about amending the constitution to remove the president’s age limit.
She summoned Rukutana, to clarify the claims that cabinet has already drafted and gazetted a bill that seeks to remove the presidential age limit.
The Deputy Attorney General informed the house that the only constitutional amendment that the cabinet has so far approved is the Compulsory Land Acquisition Bill.
However, opposition politicians were not convinced by Rukutana’s explanation. They believe that the ruling party is scheming to remove the age limit.
Former FDC President, Dr Kizza Besigye told journalists at a news conference that the NRM party will use the state machinery to ensure that the amendments are passed.
Meanwhile, civil society organisations and opposition leaders want other constitutional reforms to be considered as well. Particularly the one on the independence of the Electoral Commission, and the re-instatement of presidential term limits. Some of these reforms were tabled before parliament towards the 2016 general general election but were not considered by the government.