14 September 2017

Uganda: Besigye Rallies Voters Against Lifting of Age - Limit

Photo: The Observer
Ruling party MPs dressed in T-shirts showing support for the lifting of the age limit.

Namisindwa — Former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye has urged voters in Bugisu region to compel their Members of Parliament from supporting the removal of presidential age limit.

While addressing a rally at Bukhaweka Sub County in Namisindwa District, Dr Besigye advised voters to use their constitutional mandate and numbers to force their area MPs against scrapping Article 102 (b) from the Constitution which would allow President Museveni to extend his term of office in 2021.

"You have the responsibility and duty as citizens to uphold and defend the country from selfish leaders, whom you elected as representative but have gone astray," Dr Besigye, said, adding that the voters have the powers to recall their MPs who have failed to represent them.

Dr Besigye further noted that Mr Museveni lacks the political will and commitment to drive the country out of abject poverty and poor service delivery.

"President Museveni has been running this country for the last 30 years but the state of service delivery in health, education remains in dire condition," he said.

Dr Besigye's remarks come after a section of Members of Parliament who subscribe to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) on Tuesday passed a motion to table a bill on the removal of the presidential age limit.

The Constitution prohibits a person aged above 75 from running for presidency. Mr Museveni is 73 years old and under Article 102, he will be ineligible to stand for another term after 2021 as would have turned 77.

Dr Besigye, who was canvassing for votes for the Forum for Democratic Change, Ms Doreen Bukhaweka for woman parliamentary seat scheduled for September 21, urged the youth to join the campaign against the plot to scrap age-limit.

"You should join me in the fight against this move and I know we will win if we are together," he said.

Mr Uthman Wetaka, a political activist, said as youth leaders in the region, they will wake up and rally their colleagues against the move.

"We need to consolidate grass root support against it because it's in bad faith," Mr Wetaka, said.

Mr Paul Butita, the chairman of Democratic Party, Manafwa District, said MPs, who supports the lifting of the age-limit will be barred from attending burial funerals, weddings and other meetings in their jurisdiction.

"Our MPs are warned against supporting the lifting of the age-limit because it's not in our interest," he said.

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