Religious Leaders Rally Tooro to Reject Age Limit Removal Top story

3105 Views Kabarole, Uganda

In short
Muhirwa said that there was a reason why the framers of the 1995 constitution restricted the presidential age limit at between 35 and 75 years of age, saying they should be respected.

Clerics in Kabarole district have rallied the people of Tooro to reject the proposed scrapping of article 102 (b) from the constitution. 

The religious leaders led by Bishop Robert Muhirwa of Fort Portal Diocese told residents at a consultative meeting held on Monday afternoon at Buhinga play ground in Fort Portal that removing the presidential age limit is a precursor for bloodshed.

Muhirwa said that there was a reason why the framers of the 1995 constitution restricted the presidential age limit at between 35 and 75 years of age, saying they should be respected.

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Muhirwa also asked President Yoweri Museveni to respect the oath he took of defending, preserving and protecting the constitution. He cautioned Museveni against listening to only those in support of the amendment but also the views of the elders and religious leaders. 

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In what could have been a reference to Ministers from the Tooro region, Muhirwa said that they should not be intimidated but stand for the truth. He criticized the ministers for serving and protecting the interests of the President and not the electorate. 

They include Defense and Veteran Affairs Minister, Adolf Mwesige, the State Minister for Culture, Peace Mutuuzo, Local Government Minister, Tom Butiime and William Byaruhanga, the Attorney General

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Sheikh Abdalla Badru, the Sheik Burahya County Sheikh asked President Museveni to give chance to other people who are capable of leading the country. He said the achievements of President Museveni shouldn't be outdone by his grip on power.

He asked the president to emulate the Late South African and Tanzanian Presidents, Nelson Mandela Mwalimu Julius Nyerere respectively who retired when they were still loved.

Fr. Peter Kumaraki of Fort Portal Diocese attacked police for taking sides on the presidential age limit debate. He cautioned police officers against using violence and intimidating people who are against the amendment. 

At the rally, several Fort Portal Municipal leaders led by Reverend Willy Kintu Muhanga, the Mayor Fort Portal Municipality also spoke publicly against removing the presidential age limit.

Muhanga said Tooro region has been marginalized under the leadership of President Museveni. He explained that when the NRM government came to power in 1986, some of the regional offices in Fort Portal were shifted to Mbarara, depriving the region of economic development. 

Alex Ruhunda, the Fort Portal Municipality MP and Kabarole Woman MP Sylvia Rwabwogo vowed not to back down on resisting the proposed amendment. Rwabwogo said that she has been approached by NRM party legislators on various occasions to support the proposed amendment in vain.

The Igara West MP, Raphael Magyezi tabled a private member's bill in parliament, which among others seeks to repeal article 102 (b) from the constitution. Once approved, this will pave way for president, Museveni to seek re-election in 2021 once his current term of office expires.


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.