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Buganda parliamentary caucus chairman Godfrey Kiwanda has said he regrets having supported the removal of presidential term limits and plans to make amends by pushing for their restoration.

The Mityana North MP says he regrets taking the Shs 5m that was given to lawmakers in the Seventh Parliament back in 2005 to amend the constitution and remove presidential term limits.

Kiwanda says restoration of term limits will restore hope amongst Ugandans who have lost it.

“People have now resorted to demonstrations and other [violent] means, thinking that it is the only way they can change government. They have lost hope, and we have to restore this hope,” he said.

In 2005, the Seventh Parliament scrapped the two-term presidential limit to enable Museveni stand for re-election. Museveni’s NRM induced its legislators with Shs 5m apiece to vote in favour of the constitutional amendment. Looking back now, Kiwanda says taking that money was the worst thing he has done in his political career.

“I regret and apologise for whatever I did. We put our country in trouble by removing term limits,” he said.

The Buganda caucus chief made these remarks during a meeting held at Hotel Africana in Kampala this week where lawmakers pushing for the restoration of term limits had pitched camp to discuss the proposal with civil society representatives. Kiwanda joins a bunch of NRM MPs that have thrown their weight behind the campaign led by Gerald Karuhanga (Youth, Western).

Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East), Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga) and Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri) are the other lawmakers pushing for the amendment. Dokolo MP, Felix Okot Ogong, has also joined the group, vowing to end what he called “the nonsense of no terms in our politics.”

The idea remains thorny, with many NRM lawmakers preferring to sit on the fence and wait for fear of being misunderstood by Museveni. But Kiwanda has decided to come out, and more are expected to support the campaign, although the dominant NRM is likely to have the last word.

“We need a peaceful transition of power from one president to another,” Kiwanda said.

However, the President’s Press Secretary, Tamale Mirundi, says Kiwanda is trying to appeal to the voters with an eye on re-election in 2016. Tamale argues that Kiwanda is panicking because there is someone in Mityana North who is mobilising against him. On his part, Karuhanga said that Ugandans and investors had started to flee, taking their investments to other countries because the political future of the country is uncertain.

Karuhanga also revealed unconfirmed reports that Museveni harbours intentions of introducing another constitutional amendment to remove the age limit for the president that is currently at 75 years. Museveni will be 72 when the 2016 elections come along and therefore eligible to stand for president.

But according to the constitution, that would be his last term as the President would be 77 in 2021 when the next elections are to be held. Museveni told NTV this year that he believes there is good reason for the age limit and would thus not seek to change it.

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Comments

 
-5 #1 DAVID 2012-10-03 00:54
Kiwanda is just panicky and directionless. Instead of duly addressing the concerns of his constituencies, he's just politiking and trying to ensure his political survival in the post 2016 era.

People have lost hope because of inept leaders like Kiwanda and not bisanja because even in countries with bisanja like Kenya, Malawi, Mali etc etc, there have been violent demonstrations.

Instead of representing the interests of the people who elected them, those MPs like Kiwanda resort to bulging their tummies and that's why they even have the audacity to withdraw over Ugx 100 million from the national coffers whilst the majority of their constituents sleep hungry!

In addition to regretting, if Kiwanda is indeed sincere with his 'apologies' why doesn't he refund the Ugx 5 million (that he received in 2005) to the national coffers in addition to interest accrued after the seven years?.
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+5 #2 Betty Long Cap 2012-10-03 01:40
Too little too late for term limit restoration. That constitutional safeguard against dictatorship is a dead horse. Just try putting out a forest fire with spittle.

...a time to break down, and a time to build up; Ecclesiastes 3:3b
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+4 #3 Emmanuel 2012-10-03 02:49
Dear MP Kiwanda, It is with great sadness that i read your confessions and i surely sympathise with you beccause the ghosts have come back to haunt you!

The greed and self-centredness you exhibited has at last occured to you that you children might actually suffer longer than they enjoyed when you took the 5million home back then. I f i were you, i would do one noble thing; donate at least shs 5million to a hospital in mityana by buying beds for expectant mothers who a lying helpless on th 'hospital' floors.

That would not take away the shame but at least i would clear your conscience by at least 1%. Remember the saying, "the evil men do lives after them"??? My friend likes to say...."I feel your pain, you're really suffering"!!!
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+5 #4 kalifani 2012-10-03 08:06
It takes a man to admit one`s mistake and shortcomings. Mr Kiwanda you could be on the verge of graduating from the movement political midgetry unlike mirundi and his group of ignorant loons.
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-2 #5 steven kasiko 2012-10-03 09:54
You self seeker greedy Mps have let down our country no amount of apology that will make Ugandans to forgive you . In fact we should black list all these Mps .Kiwanda 's just being insincere why has it taken so long to regret and apologies
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+3 #6 tony blix, oslo 2012-10-03 11:00
"Museveni told NTV this year that he believes there is good reason for the age limit and would thus not seek to change it."

A one MAO once said that when that man opens his mouth, only lies come out of it. You can believe that man at your own perils.
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0 #7 Lionel 2012-10-03 12:14
Isn't there some crime committed in accepting a bribe? shouldn't that be the first step we take after this confession?
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+1 #8 Paddy Ankunda 2012-10-03 12:54
Can all the other MPs (in and out of parliament) who "ate" the bribe stand up to be counted? We will forgive you on condition that term limits are immediately restored without any undue delay.
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+3 #9 John 2012-10-03 13:21
Kiwanda to prove you are serous do thw following;
1. Refund the money because it did not belong to you
2.Resign your seat in Parliament because you are corrupt&you have no morals to be a Member of Parliament

3. Resign from NRM party because that Party bribed you.
Otherwise you are just some confused person who does not deserve being a member of Parliament
4.
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+1 #10 Odoki 2012-10-03 14:09
Talking about short sightedness (Kisanja - Led by Gilbert Bukenya is bearly a decade old)!!!

Whatever you are doing right now is just potmortem in anycase, there is Sin against the State but Crime again the State. What you committed was Sin against the State and People of Uganda. The Only Judge is History and it has began it's Judgements!!!

Anyway, better late than never!! Please don't forget to refund the Kisanja Money, coz its the most cardinal thing to do if you are truely remorseful!!
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+2 #11 kiguli 2012-10-03 14:58
if one will be 72 in 2016 , does he qualify to run for prez? by 2019 ie 3 years into the 5 year term he will be 75!! if one is not allowed to be prez at 75 then his term stops there.

the question is should someone who can not go a full term stand? remember the constitution bars anyone 75 and above from the office of the prez and NOT standing for prez!!! we need to be clear on this. maybe a lawyer should help me out but it looks obvious to me that the incumbent is already time barred!!
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+1 #12 Kamya 2012-10-03 17:20
Hi, there is no need of returning the money. Maybe M7 staying longer was good for stability then. Now we need the original districts (tribal groups) who sat at Lancaster to form Uganda to sit again and chart way forward:

1) restore dignity and good manners (no urinating on roadsides, no driving in wrong lane, no corruption in schools etc.
2) rebuild the railway
3) agree on oil-sharing
4) consider stronger local governments with each region/district with real power including a local electral commission
5) The presidency be rotational like in Malaysia
6) reduce the size of parliament etc ban women members and special groups

Simply stated here, these are some of the measures that can ensure prosperity and a brighter Uganda.
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+1 #13 Ssesanga 2012-10-03 18:12
I have been and was so much hurt by this term-lifting thing like wise many Ugandans. Then who has not wronged to say all sorts words to Kiwanda who has come up to appologise for a realised mistake? Applaud Kiwanda.

Now the whole ray of hope will be be if you guys fight too and nail, in the next few months 6-12. you restored the lost hope by reinstating the term limits. these limits should this time round include all elective posts,then limits have to be introduced in civil service for all major posts.

( Contracts). and hope will be fulfilled when corruption is reigned upon with your strict legislations.
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0 #14 Mugisha 2012-10-03 21:36
Kiwanda's confession reminds of Ronald Mayinja's song (AFRICA) how people were dividing Africa. He/they sold our country already
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0 #15 Galiwango Daniel 2012-10-04 12:45
who told u m7 will be 72 in 2016? two years ago he was 68 even now hes still 68

Akuume
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