Commotion in Parliament as Speaker Allows Motion to Amend Age Limit

Parliament has finally given a green light to the motion seeking to amend the constitution to scrap the Presidential age limit of 75. Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga on Tuesday afternoon allowed Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi to seek leave of parliament to prepare a private members Bill to extend the eligibility of Presidential candidates beyond the age of 75.

The move was unprecedented as the motion had initially not appeared on Tuesday’s order paper. The Speaker, however, amended the order paper to include motions on; Age Limit, peaceful transition and restoration of term limits, and establishment of a constitutional review commission.

Kadaga said that she had advised the Executive to prepare a comprehensive amendment of the constitution but that this was never done.

I am now constrained; I don’t know how long we can keep waiting. I think that now that government has failed; members should proceed and bring in their motions, Kadaga told the house.

Out of the eight (8) motions presented, only 3 met the requirements as stipulated by the Parliamentary rules of Procedure.

Kadaga’s move however sparked off commotion in the Parliamentary chamber with some MPs exchanging fists while others rowdily carried chairs.

Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi led Opposition MPs chanting “we want guns” as Makindye MP Allan Sewanyana physically confronted Minister for Water, Ronald Kibule. Later, Kibule was led outside of the chamber after opposition MPs alleged that he was armed with a gun which violates rules.

A semblance of calm was restored after the Speaker ordered the Sargent at Arms to search some MPs.

Kiira Municipality MP Semujju Nganda said; “Our security in this parliament, takes precedence over anything else. At 2pm today, Hon. Kibuule came and told me that I am going to face death. We are here to represent our people and not to be killed by Kibuule.”

Meanwhile, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Winnie Kizza opposed the ‘sneaking’ of the contentious motion on the order paper without prior notice which she said was procedurally wrong. However, the Speaker ruled Kizza out claiming she had no right to question her [Kadaga’s] powers.

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