Igara West legislator Raphael Magyezi’s motion seeking leave of Parliament to introduce a private members’ bill aimed at removing presidential age has been granted.
Magyezi, a National Resistance Movement (NRM) MP, seconded by Jinja East MP Moses Balyeku, Jackson Karissa and Doreen Amule moved the motion to a one-sided Parliament after 25 opposition MPs were suspended by the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga under rule 80(2) on the grounds of indiscipline, while the remaining ones walked out.
“Age should not be a factor that hinders the rights and freedom of any Ugandan, therefore it should be removed,” Balyeku said of Magyezi’s motion.
The 1995 Constitution set the age limit for presidency at 75 years, but Magyezi wants Article 102 (b) expunged from the Constitution, a development many say is aimed at paving the way for President Yoweri Museveni, who is the Chairman of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), to rule for life.
However, Fort Portal MP Alex Ruhunda, who is opposed to the lifting of age limit, expressed worry, saying that the motion is being moved at a time when the country is on tension. He also said legislators should be allowed to consult people they represent.
Meanwhile, before Magyezi’s motion, there was chaos in the parliamentary chambers, prompting the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to order for the forceful eviction of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi and his Makindye East counterpart Allan Sewanyana. In the ensuing scuffle Soroti Woman MP Angelina Osege and Mityana municipality MP Francis Zaake Butebi, who is currently admitted at Case Hospital.
The suspended MPs include Allan Ssewanyana, Robert Kyagulanyi, Monica Amoding, Sam Lyomoki, Moses Kasibante, Betty Nambooze, Zaake Francis, Ibrahim Kasozi, and William Nzoghu. Others include Gilbert Olanya, Muhammad Nsereko, Samuel Odonga Otto, Winfred Nuwagaba.