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Age limits for elective office are against the constitution - President Museveni tells MPs
“In a continent like Africa where we have had a leadership crisis and still faced with many challenges we need to be flexible, not merely legalistic and utilise all the potential of both young and old. This is because it is more about our safety, survival and prosperity and not who leads us on that journey,” Museveni said.
President Museveni  meeting members of parliament's legal and parliamentary affairs at statehouse Entebbe

President Museveni meeting members of parliament's legal and parliamentary affairs at statehouse Entebbe

The presence of age limits for any elective office goes against Article 1 of the 1995 Constitution, the bedrock of that supreme law, which says “Power belongs to the people”, President Yoweri Museveni has said.

The President was meeting members of parliament's legal and parliamentary affairs at statehouse Entebbe, the MPs led by their chairman Jacob Oboth Oboth, had gone to get the president's views on the age limit bill.

The committee is scrutinising the private members' bill, presented to Parliament by Hon Raphael Magyezi, which seeks to scrap the 35 and 75-year lower and upper age limits for candidates seeking the presidency.

Mr Museveni told the MPs that Ugandans are the custodians of the supreme law, and should be the ones to decide who leaders them through regular free and fair elections

“If someone votes, why can’t he be voted for?” President Museveni asked Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, members.

“In a continent like Africa where we have had a leadership crisis and still faced with many challenges we need to be flexible, not merely legalistic and utilise all the potential of both young and old. This is because it is more about our safety, survival and prosperity and not who leads us on that journey,” Museveni said.

Using examples of superpower countries that have been transformed, Mr Museveni said their push to develop and transform, had been guided by leaders who were of advanced age and led the countries for decades.

“Israel has since 1948 been rotating leaders young and old. Today Israel is a superpower yet in a largely hostile environment. The great leaders that transformed China, Deng Xiaoping and Deng Yingchao, were of advanced age,” said President Museveni. “The great United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchhill was a leader up to the age of 81and offered some of the best leadership to his country.”

 

Museveni also dismissed talk of 75 being too old for someone to led a country

“Politics is not Olympics or rugby where you need to compete physically. The presidency is a guiding role,” 

 

 

By Collins Hinamundi