By www.mknewslink reporters
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have rejected Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and the Campaign to remove the 75-year age limit for presidential candidates in Uganda
In their press release sent to www.mknewslink.com they warn Ugandans to be aware of a tragic political history of Uganda characterized by civil strife and conflict and persuaded about the need for a peaceful transition, equal opportunity and shared prosperity, the CSOs assembled here, make the following observations and call for action:
On the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 that seeks to amend Article 26 of the Constitution in accordance with articles 259 and 262 of the Constitution, Crispin Kaheru who is the Coordinator
Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) says the proposed amendments are brought in bad faith as it confers upon government, wide-ranging and discretional powers over land-owners.
He says such government action is inconsistent, and in contravention with Article 26 (2) (b) (i) which makes it mandatory for such a law to provide prior to the compulsory taking of possession or acquisition of such property for prompt, fair and adequate compensation.
Kaheru suggests that where acquisition of property has been met with resistance from the owner, the legitimate action would be for government to establish a tribunal to arbitrate among the aggrieved parties; which is not envisaged under the Bill;
He argues that if enacted into law, the Bill would contravene Article 92 of the Constitution that restricts Parliament from passing any law that seeks to alter the decision or judgment of any court as between the parties to the decision or judgment.
On the potential amendment of Article 102(b) with respect to the age limitations for presidential candidates, the societis wish to observe the following:
He says that the framers of the 1995 Constitution were mindful of Uganda’s history characterized by forces of tyranny, oppression and exploitation; and therefore envisaged that Article 102(b) prescribing the age limit for president of not being less than 35 years and not more than 75 years of age, and Article 105 (2) before it was amended, for a maximum of two-five year terms as important safeguards towards securing peaceful transfer of power; avoiding dictatorship, absolute hold on power and imperial life presidency.
He adds that in view of Uganda’s fragile democracy and weak state institutions, the need to provide checks and balances on absolute power is key in ensuring political and economic stability of Uganda.
They call the public to be aware of the negative and potentially disastrous consequences that would arise from effecting both Constitutional amendments, we reject and call upon other civil society actors, MPs and Ugandans in general to exercise vigilance and reject these proposals with the contempt they deserve.