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There will be repercussions if leaders don’t listen this time!

I will address two issues: the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 that government has already tabled before parliament and the current public debate about the potential of amending the Constitution to remove age limitations for presidential candidates.

Let me begin with the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017. In my simple understanding, the bill seeks to permit government to take over private property before prompt payment of a fair compensation. Not only is such a law unfair, it breeds insecurity among landowners and is recipe for landlessness.

Secondly, people in Karamoja are eating raw mangos to cure hunger; in Teso, locals are eating termites to survive famine; in Isingiro, residents are cooking pawpaws for dinner; in northern Uganda, communities are surviving on one meal a day.

Children and the elderly are dying every day in different parts of the country because of hunger. At a time when people would expect empathy, we are seeing a rude gesture in form of government introducing a law that would take away the last source of livelihood for these already-tormented people.

Let me briefly turn to the question of the of the age limitations for presidential candidates in Uganda. Anyone talking of amending the Constitution to eliminate the 75-year age limit for presidential candidates sounds like they are directly talking about safeguarding in perpetuity an individual in power. Not only is it morally wrong to legislate for an individual, it also places Uganda’s fragile democratic path on the edge of a cliff.

The framers of our Constitution inserted three key pillars to guarantee smooth and peaceful leadership transition: 1) regular free and fair elections; 2) a maximum of two five-year terms for presidents; and 3) age limitations for presidential candidates. 

Our elections have been tampered with and no longer give that much confidence to citizens. Term limitations on presidential tenure were easily removed from the Constitution in 2005 after legislators were bribed with a mere Shs 5m. Therefore, there is only one safeguard left – the age limitations for presidential candidates. That is why salvaging Article 102(b) of the Constitution is a matter of life and death.

In 1986, Yoweri Museveni came to power as a freedom fighter; he came to power promising democracy and prosperity.  Those who have launched the campaign to remove the age limit don’t mean well for Museveni. Some years back, Mr Museveni categorically announced that after 75, one has no vigor, one is tired.  What is bound to happen if you force a bus driver to drive passengers when he or she is weak, tired or dizzy?

Threats to democratic rule in Uganda are increasing too fast.  It is time for all the citizens to act; it is time for young people to act. It is time-up for any leader who is not listening to the voice of the masses. Soon, very soon, bad leadership is going to be history in this Pearl of Africa!

There is no any other time to act than this time when some of those in power are coming out full circle to take away people’s source of life on the one hand and acting indifferently towards younger generations on the other.

We will stand with each other in solidarity and hold our leaders accountable for their actions or inactions.  We are going to watch the movements and language of our Members of Parliament (MPs) and other leaders on these issues.  Should they not play ball to the wishes and in the interest of the citizens, we will pounce on them in a very unprecedented way.

This is not a war of guns. It is a battle where tear gas will be rendered useless; it is a battle where intimidation, threats and manipulation will not work. This is going to be a peaceful battle where the people will speak, and demand to be listened to. If the voice of reason of the people is not acted upon, there will be dire consequences.

The author is the coordinator, Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (Ccedu).

Comments   

+2 #1 Lakwena 2017-07-26 10:25
Crispin Kaheru, at this rate, the people of this country will soon realize that the 31-year regime in power, has after all been their worse enemy within; who now wants their only possession: their ancestral land.

In other words, the people are beginning to lose their fear of the manipulators, oppressors and the guns with which they are intimidated. And sooner than later, the game will be over; as the hunter will become the hunted.

A handful of crafty, selfish, greedy and cruel people cannot be allowed to impoverish, dispossess and run the lives of 38 million Ugandans. NEDDA

Eish!
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+1 #2 Akot 2017-07-26 18:41
[There will be repercussions if leaders don’t listen this time!]

Repercussions from who?

Ugandans are working in peace to ensure tax money in time: so who is going to bring Uganda leader/s to account?

It takes Unity & massive rallies-demonstrations to block tax money & render thieving leaders moneyless!

Ugandans are making their leader go on in peace with tax money in time & the line for hand outs seems to get longer!

Museveni has tax money to: buy bullet proof cars for police commanders-give MPs cars-paying off tribal leaders who turn blind eyes/deaf ears & any who defies him is kept out of his tribal land...!

But Uganda leader has no money for cancer X-rays-non for Education or to modernize/subsidize Agriculture...!

Only Unity of a people/uprising can bring down dictators-bad rulers!

Museveni is worse than Kadhafi-Mubarak-Gbagbo-Bin Ali...!
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+1 #3 Akot 2017-07-26 19:05
Lakwena, thanks, yet,

Even tribal leaders have not woken up to see they too, will soon be out of their tribal lands, like the Rwenzururu one who museveni consideres non Ugandan now!

Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 that government has already tabled before parliament is official-legal-constitutional means for museveni to own Uganda & when he finally does, not even ICC will be able to help Ugandans - after all is it not Ugandans handing over their country to museveni?

This amendment falls in line with age limit, right?
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+1 #4 Akot 2017-07-26 19:28
[Anyone talking of amending the Constitution to eliminate the 75-year age limit for presidential candidates sounds like they are directly talking about safeguarding in perpetuity an individual in power.]

Agreed, but Uganda is not a democracy but under colonial conquest!

Besides, life span for +99% of Uganda population is 55 years: no MPs with sane minds should even sit in parliament to discuss to allow a demon to go beyond 75 urinating on the younger who die before him because of his bad/selfish rule over them!
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+1 #5 Akot 2017-07-26 19:37
[The framers of our Constitution inserted three key pillars to guarantee smooth and peaceful leadership transition: 1) regular free and fair elections; 2) a maximum of two five-year terms for presidents; and 3) age limitations for presidential candidates.]

Even Dr Obote did not dare amend our Constitution because he knew it was good: he simply, abrogated it when he became power hungry!

Amin simply hid our Constitution because it made him feel evil & didn't want it read to him!

But when Amin was overthrown the first document Radio Uganda brought out was "the Constitution"!

Yet, we are letting museveni use us to amend our Constitution & hand over our country to him as if we are brainless today!

Chairman E.Rugumayo-president Binaisa made sure our Constitution was reinstituted just as it was & they were so humble to play their parts & make ous proud again!
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0 #6 Akot 2017-07-26 19:44
[There is no any other time to act than this time when some of those in power are coming out full circle to take away people’s source of life on the one hand and acting indifferently towards younger generations on the other.]

Time for action is overdue & it's now or never, before museveni uses us to help him amend our constitution & hand over our country officially to him!

If we don't throw museveni out, he will throw us out!

Where is Rwenzururu tribal leader now?

Whether we want Independent Tribal States or Reform the Republic, it MUST BE NOW!

We do not have the right to go on like this knowing ALL will end up thrown out by museveni, even from our tribal lands!

Ugandans MUST STOP being the only stupid people in today world!
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0 #7 Akot 2017-07-26 19:51
[We will stand with each other in solidarity and hold our leaders accountable for their actions or inactions. We are going to watch the movements and language of our Members of Parliament (MPs) and other leaders on these issues. Should they not play ball to the wishes and in the interest of the citizens, we will pounce on them in a very unprecedented way.]

And we don't have a choice, if we want to save our country & give our children the legacy that is theirs & not the museveni's!

MPs were elected by the people & if they are afraid of museveni, then the best they can do for even their own children, is stand down instead of handing over our country to the demon constitutionally & we won't be able to get our country back!
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0 #8 Akot 2017-07-26 19:56
[This is not a war of guns. It is a battle where tear gas will be rendered useless; it is a battle where intimidation, threats and manipulation will not work. This is going to be a peaceful battle where the people will speak, and demand to be listened to. If the voice of reason of the people is not acted upon, there will be dire consequences.]


Thanks!

And we need just UNITY for common purpose against our common enemy!

Museveni MUST BE THROWN OUT & NOW!

But we are kind people & any tribe that wants to shelter museveni can do so but the demon MUST be thrown out of power WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY!

Ugandans, is the clock ticking for museveni or is it for us?
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0 #9 kla 2017-07-27 16:24
Those pushing the lifting of the age limit should know that they are empowering museveni to kill our people in case people choose resist such a move.

In case know one brought such crazy proposal, museveni would have retired silently at the end of his term so that the country is allowed to move on in peace.

However, by proposing that he stays through the hopeless amendment, a stage is set where Ugandans will have to violently overthrow him either in near or far future.

The blood of the Ugandas who will die will forever be on the hands of the kakozas, simeo nsubuga and this one from Arua whose insignificant name i have forgotten.
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