Makerere University historian Prof. Mwambusya Ndebesa has said that amendment of Article 102 (b) of the constitution could weaken the bedrock upon which he constitution is founded.
Prof. Ndebesa made the submission on Wednesday while appearing before the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. He said that if the Article on Presidential age limits is repealed, it is likely to render the constitution obsolete.
“According to the doctrine of the basic structure of the Constitution, there are certain articles that are fundamental and should not just be amended through a simple process or even be amended at all because they could destabilize and weaken the constitution,” Ndebesa said.
Ndebesa said that if such happens, it would cause Constitutional instability which the architects of the Constitution were trying to safeguard against.
The historian alluded to the preamble of the 1995 Constitution which makes reference to Uganda’s history that has been characterized by political and constitutional instability. He said that what was intended to be dealt with would cease to make sense.
Ndebesa said that the Constitution was meant to fight the strongman phenomenon which has affected African countries.
“The strongman phenomenon has undermined, subverted, weakened and crippled the development of strong institutions hence the need for Presidential term and age limits in the constitution.”
However, many of the proponents of the contentious Bill, particularly the NRM legislators have previously stated that the Constitution is not static. They have argued that any constitution must cater for the dynamics that emerge from the evolvement of society.