The ruling party, National Resistance Movement’s retreat starting today at the National Leadership Institute in Kyankwanzi will steer away from debating the contentious issue of removing the Presidential age limit.
In recent weeks, there has been a serious push by the NRM for constitutional reforms, which the party stifled last year, and the opposition says the move is a deceptive manoeuvre by the ruling party to muscle through Parliament the lifting of the 75-year presidential age limit. This, they argue, is supposed to pave way for President Yoweri Museveni, who is constitutionally barred from offering himself for presidency again, to stand.
However, Information and ICT minister Frank Tumwebaze insists that the debate on age-limit is not on the retreat agenda.
“The debate about scrapping the Presidential age limit isn’t on the Kyankwanzi Retreat agenda. The time for politicking ended and it is time for business,” Tumwebaze told NBS TV on Monday morning.
“It is not one of the amendments that President Museveni’s new cabinet is interested in but instead like the Prime Minister said, the NRM is always renewing itself and its commitment to Ugandans and deliberate on how to deliver a middle-income status by 2020,” he added.
The week-long retreat to be attended by party MPs, ministers and permanent secretaries aims at charting a course in this term which runs up to 2021, starting with an audit of the NRM failures in the last five years.
On July 4, the Kyankwanzi district NRM conference took the lead and passed a resolution urging its MPs to move a motion in Parliament for the amendment of Article 102 (b) of the Constitution, which caps the maximum age for one to be elected president at 75.
EagleOnline understands that the Kyankwanzi district resolution has been debated by the party’s top policy organ, the Central Executive Committee (CEC) which is chaired by Museveni, the NRM chairman.
The proposal to amend Article 102(b), which caps the maximum age for one to be elected president at 75, was supposed to be part of last year’s amendments but was removed after a stormy cabinet meeting on March 20, 2015.