Nwoya NRM Faithful Express Support for Age Limit Removal

2412 Views Nwoya, Uganda

In short
Supporters of National Resistance Movement NRM party in Acholi sub region on Wednesday marched on the streets of Anaka Town council in support of the bill seeking to lift presidential age limits from the constitution.

Supporters of National Resistance Movement (NRM) party in Acholi sub region on Wednesday marched on the streets of Anaka Town council in support of the bill seeking to lift presidential age limits from the constitution.

Led by NRM deputy national secretary general Richard Todwong and Dr. Dan Ssekiboobo, the technical analyst in the office of NRM party National chairman, the party faithfuls walked and sang in support of the bill tabled on Tuesday by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi. 

Rose Abwono, the representative of elders in Nwoya district, says they firmly support the bill to empower more elders to contribute to the leadership of this country. During the march, Abwono held a yellow placard saying "I am 80 years. I want to contest for Presidency. Remove age limit".

Michael Odong, a retired primary school head teacher told URN during the march that he supports the removal of the age limit on account that elders are the conscience of African societies. He said President Yoweri Museveni should stay on to fully stabilise the East African region. 

The demonstrators were drawn from a section of the structures of the ruling party in districts of Gulu, Amuru, Omoro and Nwoya. They marched holding posters bearing the portrait of President Museveni as they chanted slogans of support and praise for the man who has ruled the country since 1986.
Throughout the march, Police was absent to regulate traffic or question the organisers of the march whose defining moment came when a group of youth calling themselves NRM cadres in Amuru joined it with logs of bamboos painted in white. In a show of force, they marched mimicking a parade with the logs held up on their shoulders. 

One of them said they will March forward to defend the constitution from undemocratic attempts aimed at hijacking it from the whims of the majority. 

Residents of Nwoya Town council stoop by their shops watching the demonstrators in silence. Dominic Ochan, one of the residents said residents he was shocked to see strangers brought from outside purporting to represent them on a sensitive matter.

The group then assembled at Nwoya district headquarters where senior party leaders addressed a rally in which they outlined reasons why they want article 102 of the Constitution amended. The article caps the age of someone contesting for the office of the president between 35 and 75 years. Magyezi says the article is discriminatory to the young people and the elderly. 


About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.