Member Parliament of the ruling National Resistance Movement have been assured of cabinet’s support to their unprecedented vote to remove the Presidential Age Limit from the National Constitution.
The NRM MPs, sitting at Parliament on Tuesday adopted a motion to amend Article 102 of the Constitution.
Representing Cabinet in the meeting, Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs, Adolf Mwesige told the MPs that the Executive would offer all the relevant support to the resolution through the office of the Attorney General.
Mwesige said the legislators are vested with all the powers to amend the constitution since they represent the people who sent them to parliament.
The primary role of legislators in to make legislation and are given a right to move bills on the floor of the house as long as they represent the interests of their voters.
“What we have been initiating this morning is consistent with our mandate; 246 constituencies were represented and the voices they aired out were voices of the people. We agreed that these changes be made and the Private Members Bill be moved,” Mwesige said.
The minister stressed that there should be no fears that Parliament is acting in conflict with the Executive by moving the bill privately since the Constitution gives power to a private member to move a bill.
“If members of the executive feel that this bill is good, we shall support it; we feel we are persuaded by the ideas which our colleagues have brought. We think that the ideas they have brought are good and we should support them.”
Mwesige added, “And when the private member’s bill is moved, government through the office of the Attorney General will accord the private member moving the motion with all the technical support.”
“The executive itself will discuss the bill and we shall combine hands with our colleagues to support this bill through the house and we have no hesitation that the amendments will pass because the ideas are well sought out, moved in good faith and for the good of this country.”
Mwesige believes that Article 102(b) is in conflict with many other articles of the constitution like Article 1 which says that power belongs to the people and by capping the age limit, you are robbing the people of their power to choose.
“It is in conflict with Article 21 which provides for equality of all the people of Uganda, as well as with Article 32 which prohibits discrimination against any Ugandan.”