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Legal Committee MPs Opposed To Age Limit Removal Refuse To Meet Museveni

MPs on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee opposed to the lifting of Presidential Age Limits have refused to attend a meeting between the Committee and President Yoweri Museveni.

The Committee is expected to interface with Museveni at State House Entebbe today regarding amending Article 102 (b) of the Constitution. If the Article is removed a person above 75 years f age will be eligible to stand for President.

The lawmakers including  Medard Ssegona (Busiro East), Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga County) and Mathias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality) say the manner in which the business of amending the Constitution is being handled is appalling.

Addressing the  press at Parliament  this morning, Ssegona described the decision by Museveni to summon MPs yet seven members of the Committee were out of the country on official duties as brutal.

“Museveni is brutal in character and he believes that he will achieve everything in brutality,” he said.

The MPs also accused their colleagues of bribery reporting that the President intends to dish out Shs300M to each MP that shows support for the Bill at State House.

This follows a heated meeting held yesterday where Parliament informed the Committee members that the institution didn’t have money to facilitate the countrywide consultations as earlier planned by the Committee.

Mpuuga said Parliament told the Committee to retreat to work on the report that has to be ready in the next five days.

It should be noted that in October this year, Business Focus reported how the Committee had planned to spend Shs715.3m on processing the Bill.

ShsShs227.25m was for internal field trips while Shs400.08m was planned for international trips. Shs88.3m was budgeted for a retreat to write the report after consultations. Introduced by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi, the Constitutional Amendment Bill (No2) 2017 commonly referred to as Age Limit Bill has become controversial to the extent of resulting into bloodshed.

Mpuuga wonders why the Committee has deviated from the agreed program of countryside consultations.

“We take exception that there is no money to facilitate the country side consultations but the same Parliament has money to roll out to MPs to consult voters and facilitate the football team of MPs,” Mpuuga said.

The MPs also refused  meeting Museveni at State House on grounds that six MPs were fraudulently added to the Committee, with MPs opposed to Age Limit removal wondering which kind of submission the new MPs were to add on the report even before the new MPs make a maiden speech on the floor of Parliament.

“The rush to meet him (President Museveni) is what we don’t understand. Whoever is advising them should tell them to slow down because they’ll hit hard; they should reflect on the manner the committee is being governed. We would like to advise Oboth Oboth and those who believe like him that this country is not an iceberg that is going to melt with rising temperatures,” Mpuuga noted.

Ssekikubo alleged that  the Committee report has already been finalized, with Government simply waiting to fill in the blank spaces.

“We are being provoked beyond human endurance. The new MPs haven’t interfaced with the Committee witnesses and were brought at the tail end of the process. That will be a default and forged report,” Ssekikubo said.

 

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