MP Kakooza: Do Not Block Debate on Age Limit

1807 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
James Kakooza, the Kabula County Member of Parliament has stated that there should be more debate on the presidential age limit instead of stopping it. Kakooza is one of the MPs at the centre lifting term limits in September 2005 and now pushing the removal the age limit above 75 years.

James Kakooza, the Kabula County Member of Parliament has stated that there should be more debate on the presidential age limit instead of stopping it.
 
Kakooza is one of the MPs at the centre lifting term limits in September 2005 and now pushing the removal the age limit above 75 years. He says that any attempts to stop free discussion on the matter will do more harm than good. He says that although he supports removing age limits, he does not agree with the matter that the country should stop discussing the matter.
 
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His statement comes at a time when the Speaker of Parliament directed Members of Parliament not to be taken up by the anticipated amendment to Article 102 of the Constitution. Media reports also quote Inspector General of Police as having warned against taking the age limit debate to universities and other institutions of learning.
 
Recently, reports emerged that a section of National Resistance Movement - NRM legislators has mooted a plan to amend Article 102(b) of the Constitution to allow President Yoweri Museveni stay in power beyond 75 years.
  
Under the current provision in Article 102(b), President Museveni would not be eligible to contest for the seat in 2021. Born in 1944 and in power since 1986, Museveni will hit the limit before the next presidential election.
 
President Museveni will be 73 this year and 77 in 2021.
  
However, the Constitutional Amendment Bill that was tabled before Parliament on Thursday only focuses on the equally controversial proposal on compulsory acquisition of land by government.
  
Addressing the media at Parliament today, Kakooza said that there needs to be a constitutional amendment to revise both the presidential age and the age of retirement. He says some Ugandans may have interest of contesting at 30, but the constitution prohibits anyone below 35. He also says the age limit is unfair as it limits capable Ugandans above 75.
 
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Daniel Obal, a law student at Makerere who supports the age limit removal says the constitution speaks equality, but it then discriminates if it says those younger than 35 cannot be president and that those that are above 75 cannot contest.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.