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Muhanga scoffs at Toro elders opposed to lifting of age limit

By Geoffrey Mutegeki

Added 27th October 2017 08:31 AM

Muhanga who is one of the proponents of amending Article 102b says the statement by the elders does not represent the views of all the people of Toro

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Muhanga who is one of the proponents of amending Article 102b says the statement by the elders does not represent the views of all the people of Toro

Burahya Member of Parliament, Margaret Muhanga, has downplayed the statement by Toro elders demanding that proponents of the age limit Bill dropit for more important matters.

On October 10, Isaazi Ly'Abantu Bakuru Ba Tooro - Toro Elders Forum (TEF), issued a statement calling upon advocates of the amendment of Article 102b to drop it, saying it was not a priority.

“At this moment removing the age limit is a luxurious issue that could be debated in future, but is not a priority for Ugandans. Moreover, the sensitivity attached to it renders it untimely.

"We, therefore, recommend that it should be immediately dropped,” reads the statement signed by Prof Edward Rugumayo on behalf of the elders. Rugumayo is the chairperson of TEF.

Muhanga who is one of the proponents of amending Article 102b says the statement by the elders does not represent the views of all the people of Toro. 

“Those are their views and I respect them, but to the best of my knowledge those people never consulted anyone like I have done. They are entitled to their views and so am I,” Muhanga said.

She said people in her constituency want the age limit to be scrapped off the Constitution.

“I was in three churches for consultations last week and everyone was saying Tugikwateho. Other than the people on Whatsapp and Facebook, majority of the population in Toro support lifting of the age limit. We should not be deceived by social media people,” Muhanga said.

She said social media people do not even make 2% of the population of Toro.

The elders also called upon political actors, on both sides to exercise maximum restraint and engage in peaceful debates and meaningful dialogue. 

When contacted, Aston Kajara, the MP for Mwenge South, revealed that he is yet to consult his people and give a substantive stand.

“I have not yet consulted my people of Mwenge South about the amendment. When I do that I will get a clear stand on what my people are saying.

"However, I respect the views of the elders and religious leaders and I will present them with those of the people of Mwenge South,” Kajara said.

Kyegegwa Woman MP Stella Kiiza could not comment on the statement, saying she had not yet read it, but said she will consult her people regarding amending the age limit.

“I have not yet seen the document by the elders, but I will go with the views of my people,” Kiiza said

In their statement the elders cautioned Ugandans to desist from any action that is likely to trigger violence as they exercise their rights towards the amendment of Article 102b of the Uganda Constitution.

Of recent there have been reports of attacks on proponents of the constitutional amendment and those against it with some MP’s houses hit by grenades. 

“I would like to ask our people to remain civil and stop hostilities,” said Kyaka South MP Jackson Kafuzi, who was also attacked by youth during a dialogue on age limit at Makerere University recently.

 

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