Member of Parliament for Kitagwenda Constituency Abbas Agaba

The NRM Member of Parliament for Kitagwenda Constituency Abbas Agaba is the latest to join daring legislators from the ruling party who have denounced the proposal to remove presidential age limit from Uganda’s Constitution.

Agaba, who served as NRM national youth chairman and also as the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) for Butaleja and Katakwi districts, has urged those proposing the removal of the age limit to instead follow Tanzania, which has had four presidents handing over power peacefully since President Yoweri Museveni came to power in 1986.

“From 1964 to 1985, Mwalimu J.K Nyerere as President of Tanzania laid a strong foundation for the progress and prosperity of TZ. Without any claim of right for his role in the independence and other struggles he paved way for a less known Ali Hassan Mwinyi strategically picked from Zanzibar for the posterity of CMM and the unity and progress of Tanzania,” Agaba said.

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According to Agaba, Tanzania is a progressive democracy with peaceful transitions from one president (cabinet) to another and the economy is growing. “Why doesn’t such transition happen here in Uganda? Escapists will say that is Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, China but don’t want to imagine it here in Uganda.”

MP Agaba said that new leaders are empowered to bring new solutions to emerging challenges as compared to long -serving leaders.

“There are both overt and intrinsic values in changing leaders because new leaders apply new solutions to existing and future challenges while long serving leaders become less sensitive to current challenges.”

“If Nyerere or Mwinyi had chosen to stay forever where would be Tanzania and would it have the great leaders we profoundly refer to?” he asked.

Agaba said that time had come for leaders to protect the national Constitution from its abusers. “For those of us who have been charged with the responsibility to protect this constitution, the time is now to rise up to the occasion for posterity,” he said.

He further said that in 1995 the influential Nyerere (father of the nation) stopped an ambitious Jakaya Kikwete to attempt presidency in favour of a little known Benjamin Mpaka, to the unanimous agreement of the CMM conference.

“Ben Mpaka served a ten-year tenure indeed rectifying and putting in place a number of things that were not seen by Mwinyi then but deemed necessarily for the country at that time,” he said.

According to Agaba, Mr. Mkapa’s predecessor Ali Hassan Mwinyi opened up the seemingly closed Tanzania to trade and investment opportunities for private players, earning him the title of ‘Raisi wa Ruksa’.

Such change of leaders, Agaba said, included change of teams and key players in the politics of Tanzania, with Jakaya Kikwete emerging in 2005- 2015.

Kikwete’s regime was partly tainted by corruption and this formed the starting point of the no nonsense Magufuli currently revered internationally as an anti-corruption icon.

Meanwhile, Kabarole District Woman MP, Sylvia Rwabwogo has come up to oppose the proposal to remove the constitutional age limit for the president, saying that her voters want Article 102 (b) to stay untouched.


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