14 September 2017

Uganda: Museveni Distances Himself From NRM Age Limit Proposal

Photo: PPU
President Yoweri Museveni briefs the press on the proposed changes to Uganda’s land laws. He spoke briefly about the age limit debate.

Kampala — President Yoweri Museveni has distanced himself from a section of Members of Parliament (MPs) of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) that voted unanimously to table a private members bill in parliament to amend the constitution and remove the age limit on the presidency.

Museveni told the press at the State House in Entebbe on Wednesday that he is not behind the resolution passed by 245 NRM MPs and NRM-leaning independents on Tuesday. The group are seeking to amend Article 102(b), which provides that for a person vying for the seat of president, they ought to be between 35 and 75 years.

Responding to a range of questions on Wednesday night during a national press briefing on the contentious proposed land ammendment bill , Museveni described the agitators of lifting the age limit as "Nyekundiire" a word in Runyankore/Runyakitara loosely translated as volunteers

"The activity of the NRM people on Tuesday regarding the lifting of the presidential age limit is not the official party caucus position but they are our members and they are "Nyekundiire", said Museveni.

"There are NRM people who have their personal views and that's not an official NRM position."

Museveni was however, quick to defend the members stating that they were provoked by opposition activists who are opposed to the changing of the constitution.

"I think they were originally provoked by those malicious people but for us we did our work in 1993 by organizing the constituent assembly elections which led to the CA delegates who in 1995 promulgated the constitution and it clearly stipulates what should be done in case one wants to change it," said Museveni

The NRM MPs resolved that Igara West MP Raphael Magezi will Thursday September 14, 2017 move a motion to seek leave of Parliament to introduce an omnibus Private Member's Bill to amend Articles 102 (b), 108(3a) and 108(4) in a move seen as a significant step towards securing a free run for President Museveni to seek re-election in 2021.

President Museveni, who is now 73, is barred by the current Constitution from vying again as he will have surpassed the 75-year mark by the next election.

Women Murders

Museveni also assured Ugandans that the government is going to close all the security gaps to curb the on-going cold-blooded women murders which have brought the number of victims to 21 in the areas of Entebbe and Wakiso over a period of three months.

Museveni said that the government is going to increase the technical capacity of the security forces to combat crime and murder for Ugandans to live in peace.

Museveni emphasized that government is going to expand the forensic capacity of the police to get all the criminals behindthese repeated murders in the city and other towns.

Museveni On Land

President Yoweri Museveni dismissed as untrue claims that the government intends to grab private land through the constitution amendment bill 2017 because all land ownership matters in Uganda were clearly resolved by the 1995 constitution and the 1998 land act.

"My purpose of going to Radio stations is to give guidelines," he said. "Those people who were saying that I want to steal land, I'm here to demystify that lie."

"It is not correct that the present land law is enough," he said. ( See Understanding land acquisition challenges that have necessitated the Constitutional amendment bill, 2017)

Museveni stressed that the current proposed amendment to the land law is to counter those that have been using the weakness within the law on compensation to fraudulently rob the country and frustrate government fundamental programs.

Museveni described those who are propagating against the proposed amendment as "the enemies of Uganda" who think that once the law is amended they will not be able to cheat the country through illicit compensation claims.

On need for a legal framework that favours industry, Museveni said "the job of a modern government is to promote the private sector."

He advised youth that jobs and wealth are in ICT, the services sector, agriculture, industrialization and public Service.

The briefing was the climax of the first phase of his radio land sensitization countrywide tour.

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