A section of NRM legislators opposed to the removal of the presidential age limit amendment have vowed to reject money intended to help them carry out consultations on the matter.
The rejection by these MPs from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party follows reports that MPs are set to get cash to consult on the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill (No.2) 2017 in their respective constituencies.
The bill, if passed into law, it would pave way for repealing Article 102(b) of the constitution which sets 35 and 75 as the minimum and maximum presidential age.
Government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa said that the Parliamentary Commission is to decide how much each MP will receive to carry out consultations.
Now a section of NRM MPs opposed to 'age limit' bill have termed the proposed funds as a form of manipulation that the NRM party intends to use to legitimise the age limit removal.
The MPs included Kumi Woman MP Monicah Amoding, Buyaga West MP Barnabas Tinkasimire, Kassanda North MP Patrick Nsamba Oshabe, Workers MP Sam Lyomoki, Manjiya County MP John Baptist Nambetsye, and Kabarole Woman MP Sylvia Rwabwogo.
"We aren't going to be part of that defilement. We aren't going to be part of that money. These are just manoeuvres that we aren't going to be part of. We want to disassociate ourselves from that money. We shall call all religious leaders so that the money is paid out to the needy," said Workers MP Sam Lyomoki.
Lyomoki rebuked his own party for being insensitive and revealed that together with his colleagues won't be part of what he called a reckless system that is trying to use money to defile the constitution.
"The people who are pushing this matter are already decided that is why they raided parliament. If they were ready for a discussion, they would not have used force...We want to call upon Ugandans, even when they come, dissociate from whatever is taking place.
Use whatever is in your disposal resist those members of parliament. Do whatever you can and you think is right in your own wisdom to tell them categorically that the divide line has been set where the people are saying no to this type of recklessness and manoeuvres", said Lyomoki.
Kumi Woman MP Monicah Amoding also disputed rumours that they have already been bought off to end their opposition over the lifting of the presidential age limit.
"We know out there, the public has made a stand. The money is not needed, it is unwelcome to us. What is that sinister agenda they want to use the money from the consolidated fund? Actually, they are going to cut money from MPs travel allowances," said Amoding.
She further noted that consultation is part of their normal work as MPs while in their constituencies and therefore they don't need more money to do their job.
"We don't need that money, secondly they want to use it to justify the money that the NRM party will be giving out to buy out support or supporters for that bill. Therefore, when that money comes from the government side, then we'll have no moral authority to judge the ones who'd have taken money for this particular reason.
Therefore, we want to disassociate ourselves from it, Hon Nankabirwa we don't want your money. Do not put it onto our accounts. If you put it on our accounts, we shall bring it out to the press and show that the money has been put on our accounts. We don't want that money, neither do we want money from the NRM or the Parliamentary Commission and that is our stand", Amoding said.
Manjiya County MP John Baptist Nambetsye said they cannot be bribed with money since they are already determined to oppose the amendment.
"The question of them blackmailing us that we are about to take the money, we want to prove them wrong if it is the weapon they want to use to destroy us. We shall even pick that money and bring it in the open if it's forced onto our accounts and demand that the money is taken back to coffers for the appropriate use for what it was intended for", he said.
The group is the second to speak out on the money yet to be given to MPs to carry out consultations over the bill tabled by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi.
On Thursday, opposition MPs led by their chief whip Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said they will reject consultation money describing it as a bribe. Ssemujju, the Kira municipality MP, noted that they have been consulting about the proposed amendment on land yet no money was provided.
The bill is currently before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee that has deferred it for at least two weeks to allow the MPs to consult.
President Yoweri Museveni could become the first direct beneficiary of the proposed amendment, should the upper age cap be removed. At 73, the president is not eligible for re-election in 2021 as he will be above 75 years.
In 2005, as the government pushed for the constitutional amendment to remove presidential term limits, some legislators were given Shs 5 million for consultations in the constituencies.