Committee Dissatisfied with Law Reform Commission Position on Age Limits


Uganda Law Reform Commission has failed to present a common position on the contentious Presidential age limit Bill leaving members of Parliament’s Legal Committee in suspense.

Representatives from the law Commission led by the Chairperson Vastina Rukimirana Nsanze were Wednesday appearing before the Committe to submit their views on the constitutional amendment Bill number two which seeks to among others lift the age 75 cap for one to be President.

Vastina Rukimirana, Chairperson Uganda Law Reform Commission leading the delegation

Rukimirana revealed that the Commission has not carried out research on the Bill as mandated by law but that they don’t believe age is among the aspects that are discriminationatory.

Rukimirana however asked the Committee to benchmark on the practices in other countries where they have the minimum and maximum caps in the constitution on the side the decision they decide to take.

The Commission said that Parliament can choose to copy Rwanda and Tanzania which have minimum cap at 35 and 40 years or go with other African countries that have the maximum cap like Gambia at 62, Burkina Faso, Djibouti and Mauritania at 75.

Rukimirana said the discretion remains with Parliament to make the decision on what works well.

“Drawing from the above cases received, Parliament may wish to choose which position to harmonise with; harmonisation with the practice in the East African region could be one such option, this would apply to both minimum and maximum caps,” Rukimirana said.

However this didnt sit well with the legislators on the Committee who perceived the Commission’s views on the age issue as diversionary. Legislators demanded for a common position.

Kumi Woman MP, Monica Amoding noted that; “The Commission is running away from the issue. They would have come clean on the matter of age but they are not coming with a clear position yet they are the body mandated with the duty of reforming the law.”

Amoding said that it must as well be the indirect move by the commission to recommend for maintaining of the lowwer cap but lift the upper cap of the age limit given the examples that they shared with the Committee.

The Commission however supported the amendment of the time frame in which to hold Presidential elections, file petitions, hear petition, which they say at the moment is un realistic but requested more time to return and respond to the issues raised by members.

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