24 March 2019

Uganda: Minister Bahati, MP Sabiiti Clash Over Age Limit Apology

State Minister for Finance David Bahati and Rubanda West MP Denis Sabiitin have clashed over an alleged apology for voting against a constitutional amendment that lifted the cap on the presidential age.

The drama started when Bahati named Sabiiti as one of the legislators who apologized to President Yoweri Museveni for voting against the amendments which had been sanctioned by the NRM caucus.

Through the amendment, parliament removed the cap on the presidential age, extended its term of office from five to seven years and reinstated presidential term limits. A total of 317 MPs voted in favor of the motion while 97 voter against while tmembers abstained from the vote.

However, a total of 23 legislators who has voted against some of the amendments reportedly apologized before President Museveni early this week. They include, Fort Portal Municipality MP Alex Ruhunda, Kabarole Woman MP Sylvia Rwabwogo, Mubende Municipality MP Anthony Semmuli, Dokolo South MP Felix Okot Ogong, among others.

Bahati told congregation during a fundraising ceremony for the construction of structures at Rubanda Technical Institute that Sabiiti was among the 23 who had also apologized for not supporting the amendment. The apology was reportedly issued on the sidelines of the just concluded NRM retreat in Kyankwanzi.

Bahati said that although Sabiiti has apologized before the President and other NRM members of parliament, he had made a very wrong decision.

The statements however evoked anger from Sabiiti who openly denied being part of those who apologized for voting against age limit removal.

Sabiiti said that he voted against the amendment because he could not go against the will of his voters who had unanimously asked him not to support any move to scrap the presidential age limit from the Constitution.

Sabiiti faulted Bahati for fabricating a lie that he made an apology adding that such leaders shouldn't be voted for because they always fulfil their personal interests ahead of the desires of their electorate.

At least 26.6 million Shillings, two desktop computers and 74 bags of cement were collected in cash and pledges towards the construction of structures. Bahati contributed 15 million Shillings.

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