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The Observer | NRM MPs will not consult voters on age limit!

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Posted October 14, 2017 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Age Limit Proceedings Begin ~ 927 views

     

The Observer — Ruling party members of parliament will not consult their constituents on the controversial ‘age limit’ bill that seeks to lift the presidential age limits from the Constitution. Party chairman President Yoweri Museveni summoned the NRM MPs at the Office of Prime Minister to discuss a strategy on how the MPs are to go on with their consultative meetings aimed at soliciting the voters’ views about the now controversial age limit debate.

The caucus resolved that NRM MPs will not hold any public rallies and gatherings during consultations on the ‘age limit bill’. The party will only hold consultative meetings with only the duly elected leaders at the local government level. These will include the LC V chairpersons, LC III chairpersons and the councilors.

The resolution follows resistance from different parts of the country where some legislators were almost lynched during the Independence Day celebrations on Monday when they tried to market the bill currently before the parliamentary committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

The unpopular bill has faced stiff resistance from large sections of the public, clergy, and civil society among others. Government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa told journalists after their caucus meeting yesterday that she had advised fellow lawmakers to consult from within the NRM party structures.

“We have been strategising on how to interface with our constituents and trying to come out with a methodology to consult as many people as possible within the short period of time since we don’t want to be called back by Parliament when we have not finished with consultations,” Nankabirwa said.

“I was able to guide them that we should hold constituency conferences involving both elected and non-elected leaders in the community (local government leaders), opinion leaders, religious leaders, NRM party structures especially at the constituency level,” she added.

Nankabirwa explained that the method of holding rallies during consultations like their opposition counterparts would not be applicable at such a moment. She added that opinion leaders in the different areas including religious leaders and elders are to be invited to the consultations which are to be convened at the constituency conferences.

“How do you consult in rallies? That would be campaigning; we are going to interface with those stakeholders. How do I stand in a town or municipality and then begin preaching or talking?” Nankabirwa said. According to Nankabirwa, consultative meetings need a formal way of setting to allow taking of minutes and ideas generated that would later be tabled before parliament as well as giving chance to people to express their views.

“I swear I can’t reach out to everybody. Do you think it is possible to involve the 30, 000 voters in Kiboga district, this is not a campaign,” she told journalists.

Party sources indicated that the party is trying to avoid hostility and violent confrontations with the public, who are largely opposed to the bill.

URN has learnt that during the caucus meeting, MPs expressed fear of their constituents being hostile during the consultative meetings hence the decision to engage with local council leaders only.

A number of MPs and ministers have in the past weeks been booed at functions at which they have attempted to raise the age limit amendment issue.

Mbale Woman MP Connie Galiwango Nakayenze reportedly narrated to the caucus her ordeal when her constituents rudely demanded her not to support the removal of age limit.

Facilitation

Reliable sources within the caucus revealed to URN that the MPs also requested that they are provided money to carry out the consultations in their constituencies. The source noted that the president directed that money, whose amount he did not specify, should be availed to the MPs.

However, Nankabirwa noted that the president cautioned MPs that they will not be able to give money to every voter. She noted that the money to be provided should be only to cater for venues, seats, public address, water and transport refund for invited leaders.

Ministry of Finance has reportedly released about Shs 12.6 billion for the consultations.

Source — The Observer


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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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