Civil rights activist and rabble-rouser Maria Matembe has criticised and ‘renamed’ Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi, the mover of a constitutional amendment Bill which seeks to among others, lift the presidential age limit which is currently capped at 75.
She made the remarks while making an appearance on NBS TV’s Frontline political talkshow on Thursday alongside the President of the Democratic Party, Norbert Mao, Dr. Kizza Besigye and Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo.
“This man called Magyezi, who I have coined ‘Masilu’ has started pointing fingers like President Museveni. The speed at which this bill is moving means there is a government desperation on how much they want this bill passed. Raphael Magyezi should know that he doesn’t own this bill anymore. He should stop that nonsense,” said Ms Matembe, former Mbarara district woman Member of Parliament and Ethics and Integrity Minister.
Ms Matembe said Uganda’s main problem was corruption and egoistic leaders, which she said had crippled every effort to develop the country.
“These people think we are stupid. I heard them announcing that Constitutional Review Commission is about to be constituted. People are not blind. The Constitution Review Commission uses a lot of money to gather views nationwide. That money being given for consulting constituencies on age limit is for bribing Members of Parliament,” Matembe said while commenting about MP Magyezi’s call to change the composition of the legal committee of parliament.
The committee was tasked by Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to scrutinize a constitutional amendment Bill, if successful could make 73-year old President Museveni eligible to contest for another term of office.
Last week, Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa while addressing journalists said that she is considering adding more NRM MPs to the legal committee ahead of the consideration ‘age limit’ bill. The Rules of Procedure provide for a maximum of 30 MPs on a particular committee.
“This issue is not a party issue. We are talking about a national Constitution. This is an NRM bill, a party bill and not a national bill. For anybody to go to the committee, it would be legitimatizing the illegitimacy of this committee on age limit,” Matembe condemned the ruling party, NRM.