The critical questions to this amendment should be: is it necessary or not? Is it urgent or not?
By Patrick Katagata Jr.
The bid to amend Article 102(b) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda that seeks to lift the Presidential Age limit has drawn severe controversy from both the Ugandan citizens and the international community.
Unfortunately political commentators, critics and speculators haven't helped the ordinary wananchi gain a fair understanding of what amending this particular article points to!
While I abhor the arrogance and brutality from the Gikwateko proponents, neither is the outright cynicism and myopic outlay of sentiments from the Kogikwatako side good for democracy and transformational leadership! Our biggest problem isn't ignorance but rather that we don't even want to know.
It's not uncommon to hear of the Luganda phrase, "sagala kumanya" to mean "I don't want to know", when one is being cautioned about possible danger resulting from their recklessness.
It reminds me of American Futurist Alvin Toffler's observation that, "The illiterates of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." Choices have consequences -okalya dda kadda dda, so the Baganda say!
The critical questions to this amendment should be: is it necessary or not? Is it urgent or not? What are the implications of having this amendment effected or not? They should be independent of sentiments about the likely immediate beneficiary, who is President Yoweri Museveni.
What I read from the Kogikwatako Vs Gikwateko agitations is that the whole bid inseparable with Mr. Museveni in view of 2021 etc. But it ought to be beyond Museveni. Whoever anchors their reasons for or against this amendment looking at Mr. Museveni blunders!
With or without Mr. Museveni, the Kogikwatako Vs Gikwateko agitators should keep in mind that even though Article 1, in its respective Clauses (1); (2); and (3) of our Constitution stipulate that, "All Power belongs to the people …all authority in the State emanates from the people of Uganda; and the people shall be governed through their will and consent. … all power and authority of the state and its organs derive from this constitution, which in turn derives its authority from the people", all authority with which power is synonymous is bequeathed by God ~ (Romans 13:12). The constitution gives and derives its power and authority from the people of Uganda but God is the ultimate giver of all power and authority!
This should form the conscience of our agitations. Especially those opposed to the amendment for fear that it favors Mr. Museveni, don't break your backs -or are they broken already? When Mr. Museveni or anybody else for that matter loses God's favor, whether or not the constitution is amended they cannot last in authority even for a day. When Saul lost God's favor, He rejected him and appointed David as king ~ (1 Samuel 15:11).
When God rejects you, people cannot sustain you and the reverse is also true. It's also clear from Article 1 as aforementioned that (only) the people of Uganda shall choose their leader. So, those hobnobbing with and appealing to foreign influence in the determination of Uganda's democracy how constitutional are you?
Although we may share a few things in common, generally what affects or works for Uganda isn't the same for Kenya or the rest of Africa or other continents. Every nation is unique in resources, character, purpose and destiny.
We need to examine the motives of those who seek to influence our leadership policies and direction. Have we forgotten what foreign interference did to Libya and the general Arab Spring? Have we forgotten the pitfalls of colonialism?
Writer is a motivational speaker from Buhewju