Former East African Community (EAC) Secretary General Amanya Mushega has appealed to Members of Parliament to restrain themselves from amending the Constitution in favor of just an individual.
Mushega made the call while appearing before the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on Thursday to offer his opinion on the controversial Bill that seeks to repeal the Presidential age limit.
The FDC big wig wondered whether there is an emergency in the country that would necessitate the Bill that is before the Committee.
Mushega said the maximum (75) and minimum (35) age limits were entrenched into the Constitution to prevent a reoccurance of past events and to “immunize” leaders from “being infected by State House virus” that usually affects leaders with large appetite for power.
“So what is the urgency for this Amendment? Is it the most serious and urgent matter affecting the country today; Uganda’s problems in the past and present have never come from the population, the opposition or lack of ideology,” Mushega said.
He observed that historically, Uganda’s problem has always been leaders who come to power appearingto harbor good intentions but later are misled to thinking they are indispensable. He described such leaders as feeling entitled to stay in power.
Mushega observed that Constitutions and other laws are made to govern society and control the greed of men for power and resources.
“Constitutions are made to stand the test of time and challenges and not to be changed casually and worse still to suit the interest of one person or a group,” he said.
Mushega added that the current attempt to amend the Constitution in spite of all the spurious arguments is again to benefit one individual.
“When a leader goes above the law and whenever the fundamental law of the land affects him and it’s hurriedly changed at all costs, you are headed for disaster. It becomes a question of just not when but also how.”
However, those in support of the Bill have previously dismissed claims that the amendment serves to favor President Yoweri0 Museveni. They insist it is meant to afford all Ugandans their right to lead irrespective of age.