The government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa has scoffed at National Resistance Movement (NRM) members allegedly soliciting for money from the party so they can push through for a constitutional amendment to lift the presidential age limit.
A number of legislators are reported to be making financial demands in order to market the 'project' to make President Yoweri Museveni eligible to contest for the presidency when his current term ends. The Ugandan constitution limits the age of the president to 75.
Reported to be born in 1944, Museveni will hit the age limit before 2021, the year Uganda will hold the next presidential election.
There have been reports of negotiations between legislators and the president to fund the campaign for a resolution of parliament on the matter. But Nankabirwa told journalists this afternoon that it would be dangerous for any legislator to approach her demanding for money to support the lifting of the age limit.
She however noted that apart from reading about the allegation in newspapers, no MP has approached her to ask for money.
"You cant survive if you approach me to say I give you money to do your work to which you were elected. You would be committing suicide. You imagine; unless this is something else not parliament, to approach the chief whip and say; 'unless you give this much - Shs 300 million for us we’re not going to Kyankwanzi’ How?! How can you tell me such nonsense? It is criminal, it is illegal, it is unethical, it is unwise. Because if your voters hear that you are dead meat. It is illegal. The president who is the champion of fighting corruption cannot be the chairperson in Kyankwanzi to allow people debate on their cut", she said.
But Nankabirwa confirmed that there are many interested parties in the lifting of the presidential age limit which has caused excitement between those for and against the suggestion, even within the NRM.
She however noted that the discussion on age limit is not on the party's agenda for the planned Kyankwanzi retreat.
"Constitutional amendments will have their time and correct forum for discussion. They will emanate from the minister to probably the NRM caucus for mobilization, then to cabinet and later parliament." Nankabirwa said.