Members of the National Resistance Movement have dismissed as baseless, reports that the ongoing party retreat in Kyankwanzi is reviewing the possibility of reinstating presidential term limits.
Sources in the party told URN earlier that Kabula county MP, James Kakooza, the same MP who spearheaded the abolition of term limits in 2005, was considering a motion to reinstate the terms. Another source intimated that reinstating term limits would ease the debate on abolition of age limit for Presidential candidates.
This comes at a backdrop of sentiments that NRM is hatching a plan to waive the age limit to allow President Museveni to contest in 2021 when he will be above the prescribed age limit. Article 102 (b) of the constitution states that a person is not qualified to be elected as president if he is more than 75 years of age.
Bufumbira South MP Eddie Kwizera first toyed with the idea in 2013 but didn’t go through with it.
However, caucus leaders in Kyankwanzi have dismissed the claims. The newly appointed Secretary General of the NRM Justine Kasule Lumumba responded “nothing near that” to a text message asking whether the party was planning to discuss the subject.
Caucus chairman David Bahati also said reinstating term limits, a matter which has previously received overwhelming support from politicians and ordinary citizens alike, is not on the agenda. He explains that their agenda is on deepening ideology and wealth creation.
However, the reported talk on restoring term limits, which remains prominent on a list of constitutional reforms now being debated in the political circles has been welcomes with reservations.
While observers say the reinstatement of term limits will be good for Uganda’s democracy, political analysts argue that abolishing age limit in exchange will take the country several steps backwards.
The Leader of Opposition in Parliament Wafula Oguttu told Uganda Radio Network that the proposal may not come as a surprise because it grounds a longstanding-selfish desire by President Yoweri Museveni to die in power.
Similarly, Civil Society activist, Bishop Zac Niringiye said he gets disappointed when Ugandans expect anything good to come out of any amendment suggested by NRM.
“Museveni’s primary pre-occupation is staying in power.” Niringiye said, adding that; “Museveni knows that reinstatement of term limits will get him 10 more years in office in which time he will make other maneuvers to consolidate his stay in power.