Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Despite the fact that Ugandans protested on the streets, chaos erupted in the country’s parliament for several times during the debates about scrapping the country’s Constitution, the bill to change the Constitution however, seems to have finally found its way out.

The parliament of Uganda resumed to discussing the lifting of the age limit bill on Monday, tabling it as an open debate. However, on Monday, the session was not successful as some members of the opposition party created an issue in the parliament, and were ejected by the speaker.

The six opposition members who were kicked out of the parliament on Monday, were accused of defying the speaker, Rebecca Kadaga’s orders, when she ordered them to take their seats and they kept on standing.

The debate so got disrupted by the members of the opposition parties, hence causing the parliament’s speaker to adjourn the debate to the following day [Tuesday].

On Tuesday 19, December 2017, the debate resumed, however, the first session of the sitting was again disrupted by the opposition members who again fought with police at the parliament.

It is reported that, the fight was insinuated by the presence of the police and some other men in casual, together with the police, at the parliament’s Catholic Church.

The opposition members demanded to know why there was police in the parliament’s premises and not the House’s guards, an answer they did not receive hence opening fists again – according to the sources.

The parliament’s speaker still adjourned the bill debate at a later time that day, at 2:00, in the afternoon.

When time for the debate clocked, different members of the parliament were granted a chance to share with the house what they thought about the changing of the constitution.

Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu stated and reminded the House that they all are representatives of the Ugandan people, and that they should do exactly what the Ugandans desire.

‘The people of Uganda are watching us. They told us very clearly not to touch the constitution. Studies have been carried out. Polls have been conducted and research has been undertaken. The very last study indicated that 85% of the Ugandans have said, “LEAVE OUR CONSTITUTION ALONE”,’ said the Hon.

‘One man is bent on using this parliament to manipulate the law and declare himself life president of Uganda! If he does not think about what happens to this nation when he is gone, at least let us think about it.’

At the eleventh hour, the speaker called on the voting upon the bill, and it was an open voting.

According to the sources, 317 voted to end the age-limit while 97 voted against it. Now, President Museveni has to sign off the bill and it will then become a law.

The NRM [ruling party] holds the majority, over two-thirds of the seats in the parliament.

The voting caused further chaos in the House and outside, on the streets of Kampala.

‘I had heard that many legislators had said that they would not vote in favor, I’m very disappointed,’ one Kampala resident informed.

Following the procedures, after president Museveni has signed off the bill, it will become a law, the constitution will be scrapped and the age limit will be changed anyhow.

This step now sees Yoweri Kaguta Museveni running for presidency again, during Uganda’s general elections, in 2021.
















Reporter: Shamilah Namuddu


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