Manjiya County MP John Baptist Nambeshe (left) talks to Kumi Woman MP Monica Amoding during a press conference at Parliament on October 6, 2017. Photo by Kennedy Oryema
A cross section of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) members have drafted a petition to President Yoweri Museveni, the NRM Party chairman, asking him to convene the party’s fourteen policy and administrative organs to discuss and adopt a common position on lifting of the presidential age limit.
On Thursday 28, Igara west MP, Raphael Magyezi sought leave of parliament to table a private members Bill for amendment of Article 102(b) of the constitution, to delete the age limit from the current 75 years, from the constitution.
MP Magyezi, on October 3, also tabled the constitutional amendment Bill, which has since been forwarded to the parliament’s committee on legal and Parliamentary affairs for scrutiny.
However, addressing journalists at the parliamentary building Kampala on Friday, the MPs said removing the age limit from the constitution is a top policy decision which must be deliberated on and adopted by all the party’s policy and administrative organs.
“How come that a back bencher of NRM party originates the proposal and the Bill to lift the age limit, it should be a decision by the party,” Barnabas Tinkasimire, the MP Buyaga county said.
The MPs who included Felix Okot Ogong (Dokolo South), Monicah Amoding (Kumi district), Gafa Mbwatekamwa (Kasambya), John Nambesha (Manjiya county) Alex Ruhunda (Fort portal Municipality) , Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga) and Patrick Oshabe noted that all the fourteen organs of the party have to be consulted for consensus on the matter.
They listed the party organs which need to be consulted before the Bill is passed, as the NRM national conference, the national executive council, the central executive council, the district conference, the NRM elders forum, and the NRM women’s league.
They identified other organs as the NRM youth league, the NRM league for people with disabilities, the NRM workers league, the NRM elders league, the NRM entrepreneurs league, the NRA and UPDF veterans league, and the NRA institutions league.
The MPs noted that upon the 2016 general elections by the NRM party, President Museveni and the party leaders swore and took oath, to protect and defend the constitution.
“It is appalling that government has abdicated its cardinal mandate and responsibility over the constitutional process by abandoning such an important process to a private member hence a vote of no in your Excellency and cabinet. This is not only horrendous but unacceptable,” their petition read in parts.
The MPs want the president to disassociate himself from what they called the ongoing divisive, opportunistic and isolationist constitutional amendment process saying it alienates majority of the NRM members and the Ugandans at large.
As a matter of urgency, the MPs want the president to convene the top organs of NRM, such as CEC, NEC, the national conference and the special organs of the party, to consider and adopt a common position on lifting the age limit in the constitution.