The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has thrown out the age limit bill proposed by Nakifuma Member of Parliament Robert Kafeero Sekitoleko.
The bill tabled by Kafeero Sekitoleko has elicited a lot suspicion from the public, with many saying it is meant to pave the way for the amendment of the Constitution in order to remove the 75 year ‘age limit clause’, purportedly to leverage President Yoweri Museveni.
the bill seeks to increase the retirement age of judicial judges and commissioners of Electoral Commission from 60 to 80 years.
Currently 72, under the 1995 Constitution Mr Museveni cannot offer himself for president again, unless the law is changed.
However, this evening Ms Kadaga threw the bill saying Parliament isn’t an area where comedy is acted.
In a heated debate, Nakifuma MP, Robert Ssekitoleko, interrupted the Speaker, asking that his amendments and private member’s bill be considered when and if Parliament was to debate the constitutional amendment bill or if proposals were to be tabled before the constitutional review commission.
During the session, the heated debate equally the divided the opposition and NRM as it came down to individuals rather than their political party.
“Parliament is not a football field that you can just come and kick around. Other than expedience, I have not seen, from the MP’s justification, the urgency for us to allow him to bring the Bill. “
She added, “I am comparing the urgency of this one and the urgency of the one that government said they will bring last year. The danger we run if we allow Ssekitoleko to bring his bill is that I will not be able to object to any other demand by a member to come and amend the Constitution.” She said.
Tororo County MP, Annet Nyakecho Okwenye who was appointed by Ssekitoleko to replace Paul Amoru, (Otuke North) as a seconder of the motion was told to sit down by noise colleagues. However, MP’s would not hear any of her arguments as they gladly pointed out her conflict of interest accusing her of having an election petition where she lost the case and was thrown out.
Peter Ogwang (Osuk County) while seconding the Bill quoting the official record of 9th Parliament said that the stakeholders including all opposition parties agreed with the proposal to lift the age limit of judges.
After the Speaker’s ruling members who were against the motion rejoiced, clapping and chanting “Kadaga oyee”
Police yesterday Tuesday September 13, arrested a group of female activists that were protesting against the limit while today, opposition youth leaders were arrested at Parliament protesting against same bill.
“Women activists demonstrating against age limits arrested at National theatre. Lock up is not where a peaceful activist should be. #Women4UG Age limits must stay! We’re locked up with no charges!” they tweeted.