17 October 2017

Uganda: Tooro Elders Reject Removal of Age Limit

Kabarole — Tooro elders under their umbrella body Isaazi ly'Abaantu Bakuru Ba Tooro have expressed their objection to the Bill, seeking to amend Article 102 (b) of the Constitution to remove the presidential age limit and asked the movers to drop it.

In an October 10 statement, the elders say there are more burning issues in the country such as poverty, diseases and famine than the "luxurious" amendments on the age limit and land law which are being fronted by "selfish individuals".

They say the amendment of the Article is likely to cause chaos in the country and warned that when violence erupts, it does not discriminate between the culpable and the innocent as they will be affected alike.

A Bill is already in Parliament seeking to remove Article 102(b) which bars a person aged below 35 or above 75 from standing for president.

Mr Museveni, now 73, will not be eligible to stand for president again in 2021 as he will be 77.

The Bill has been referred to the Parliamentary and Legal Affairs committee for scrutiny and MPs have been released to do public consultations about the proposed Constitution amendment.

The elders also noted more pressing issues for amendment and cited the provision on election of political leaders under the affirmative action.

They advised Cabinet and Parliament to listen to the voices of religious leaders, opinion leaders and other sections of the population who have rejected the amendment of the Constitution.

"We note with concern that there are some provisions in the Constitution which were to be reviewed within a specified time but have been delayed. The voices of those against amendment should also be tolerated," the elders stated.

Some religious leaders have publicly expressed objections to the Constitution amendment to remove the age limit.

The elders also urged elected leaders from Tooro to represent the views of the electorate by focusing on improvement of healthcare, education services and spearhead development.

The elders join other people in the region who are against amending Article 102(b), including Fort Portal Municipality MP Alex Ruhunda, Sylvia Rwabwogo (Kabarole District Woman MP) and Bishop Reuben Kisembo of Rwenzori Diocese.


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