Oulanyah feared ‘war’ before Parliament deferred age limit debate

Oulanyah feared ‘war’ before Parliament deferred age limit debate
Eazzy Banking

We reported earlier that Uganda’s Parliament was expected to have a crucial debate on Thursday on a plan to scrap the presidential age limit.

The Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah and his boss Speaker Rebecca Kadaga conferred but decided that they needed more time to understand the two notices of motion and other notices.

“Members, from Saturday up to yesterday, we go information that there is going to be war in Parliament. Let’s be honest and see how to proceed,” Mr. Oulanyah on Thursday told a House fully packed in anticipation of the age limit debate.

Further still, Oulanyah says one of the notices they received was accompanied with a motion while the other was not.

He says the MPs will, at an “appropriate time”, likely next week, be informed of the determination by the Speaker’s office on the notices of motion.

MP Raphael Magyezi from the ruling NRM had been backed by the party’s caucus to table a motion in parliament seeking leave to prepare a bill to scrap the upper age limit.

The country’s age limit for the presidency is currently 75.

President Yoweri Museveni says he is 73. That means, as the law stands right now, he would not be able to stand in the next election.

There is a sense of tension all over Kampala, where a lot of police have been deployed.

Anti-terror police are surrounding the parliament building and military police are patrolling the city.

MPs mostly on the opposition side rejected the defence given by Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, who explained that Police were acting on fears that some people were planning to disrupt business at the house.

By presstime, chaotic scenes cropping up in the House courtesy of opposition legislators, the speaker was compelled to suspend the house to Tuesday next week.

“If they think they are going to use numbers to change the constitution as if it’s a handbook, they are going to find us ready. This red ribbon on our heads means we are ready to defend the Constitution and shed blood for this country,” vowed Hon. Ssemujju Nganda,  Kira Municipality Member of Parliament.



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