Prof. George Wilson Kanyeihamba a Retired Supreme Court Judge has asked members of parliament to discard the Constitutional (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, saying it has torn Ugandans into pieces.
The Private Member's Bill tabled by Igara West MP, Raphael Magyezi, seeks to among others scrap Article 102(b) of the Constitution, which limits the president's age to between 35 and 75 years.
The infamous bill has drawn protests from several people across the country, saying it is aimed at paving way for President Yoweri Museveni to seek re-election when his current term of office expires in 2021. Museveni, who was born in 1944, wouldn't be eligible to contest for the presidency in 2021, since he will be above 75 years of age.
Now, Prof. George Wilson Kanyeihamba has thrown his weight behind those opposed to the bill. While appearing before the Legal and Parliament Affairs Committee chaired by West Budama South MP Jacob Oboth-Oboth, Justice Kanyeihamba questioned why the committee is still pursuing the Bill, which he said has already caused bloodshed, injuries and paralyzed government machinery.
"As we sit here, many physical battles and exchange of hatred amongst our people are fiercely raging war in the country. Security personnel whose duty is to defend the citizens and the Republic of Uganda are now fully employed in the cause of a Private Member's presumed idea." partly reads Kanyeihamba's 12 paged presentation to the Committee.
He also noted that colossal sums of money have been diverted to bribe and coerce Ugandans while huge sums funds continue being diverted to enrich supporters of the Bill. He cited the 29 million Shillings recently given to each MP to consult their constituents on the Bill before Parliament.
Kanyeihamba told the committee that he strongly opposes the removal of the presidential age limits simply because it is intended to benefit Museveni in disregard of the history of the country.
He explained that Magyezi's Bill is not about the presidential age limit but it's entirely about the national cake, who owns it, who gets it, who distributes it and who gets the lion's share. Justice Kanyeihamba argued that Museveni has become a spent force and cannot even minimally perform the activities of any department.
"I urge that these millions of Ugandans to protect Museveni from dying in power because he is not immortal. It's time we help our beloved president to retire so that he can peacefully enjoy the benefits of retirement," he said. He said there are dozens of cable Ugandans who can lead the country.
Unlike the previous Committee sittings where MP's would interact with those submitting their views on the bill, this time around the MPs, majority of from the ruling National Resistance Movement sat silent and nodded in agreement as Justice Kanyeihamba made his submission.
The Bukholi North MP, Gaster Mugooya moved a vote of thanks to Kanyeihamba for his submission to the committee. In his vote of thanks, Mugooya thanked Kanyeihamba for giving the committee his father advice and encouragement.
At this point, Committee Chairperson Jacob Oboth-Oboth adjourned the sitting to today following the failure of the former Chief Justice, Benjamin Odoki and Constitutional Lawyer Godfrey Lule to show up as planned.