As the time draws close for the tabling of the Constitutional Amendment No.2 Bill 2017, the Opposition MPs have launched a massive anti-Age Limit removal campaign, warning police chief General Kale Kayihura of a restive week ahead.
Addressing journalists at Parliament this morning, Muwanga Kivumbi (Democratic Party, Butambala County MP) revealed that the new campaign kicks off today and will run for seven days ahead of tabling of the report by the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.
Among the activities lined up for the campaign are calls for the electorate to persistently call their MPs and warn them against lifting of presidential age limit, visits to MPs homes, and all people opposed to the move asked to dress in red attire from head to toe.
“This country is going to be painted red and General Kale Kayihura (Inspector General of Police) can’t stop the wind that is going to blow in the country,” said Muwanga Kivumbi, who is also the shadow minister for internal affairs.
On Tuesday, December 12, 2017, when the Committee is expected to table its report, the Opposition has vowed to organize a parade along Parliament Avenue where MPs headed to Parliament will be met with a crowd of voters ahead of the anticipated meeting.
Meanwhile, the Opposition MPs have also accused their NRM counterparts of fronting support for the controversial Bill in order to have their tenure extended by two years, and Kivumbi termed the latest move by the ruling party as diversionary.
“These people are simply being diversionary. These are cheats because none of them consulted their voters on having their term extended. They have realized their ground can’t hold; they are simply realizing they are going to lose. Let them be truthful to their voters,” the outspoken MP said.
The proposal to extend the term of office for MPs was raised by controversial Arua Municipality MP Abraham Abiriga, who said that the current five year term isn’t enough for the MPs to perform their duties in the constituency, as they spend the two years paying off debts they accumulated during campaigns.
He even informed journalists since taking over office close to two years back, he has been paying off debts and is currently left with a debt of Shs41 million.
Abiriga said the plans are in final stages to have the Bill tabled and the proposal has received overwhelming support from all MPs from across the political divide.
“When we sit in secret meetings, they are happy with the proposal. Even those who are saying they oppose, they aren’t seriously opposing at all because everyone is going to benefit. It gives me enough time to deliver because the first year, there is a lot of debts,” Abiriga, a leading protagonist for the removal of the 75-year presidential age limit that was tabled by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi, said.
Antagonists of the Bill like Muwanga Kivumbi say that the removal of age limits is aimed at paving the way for a ‘Museveni life presidency’.
But two days ago, while addressing the MPs on the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, President Yoweri Museveni said the 75-year cap under the current constitutional dispensation is ‘discriminatory’ and contradicts Article 1 of the Constitution.