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Zimbabwean MPs join opposition age-limit fight

Three Zimbabwean politicians yesterday joined widening opposition-led campaign rallies against the amendment of the Constitution to allow government take compulsory possession of private land and to remove the 75 upper age cap for presidential candidates.

The Zimbabwean legislators are from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (MDC-T). They spoke at two city rallies; at Nakulabye in Lubaga division and Katwe in Makindye division.

“When I look at all of you here, I see fellow Africans, and if I mingled with you, it will be difficult for anyone to tell that I am a Zimbabwean. We as Africans have one problem; leaders that don’t want to leave power,” Abednico Bhebhe, the leader of opposition in the Zimbabwean parliament, told a cheering crowd at Nakulabye market.

Bhebhe went to the rally with two of his colleagues, Brian Tshuma, the MP for Wanga and Prince Dubeko Sibanda, the Babinga MP. Bhebhe spoke of his role during Zimbabwe’s independence struggle and accused his country’s 93-year-old president Robert Mugabe of reneging on the promises he made during the struggle.

“When we were fighting [for independence], he used to tell us that we were fighting for a government of the people, by the people and for the people. When he got to power, he changed and now wants to rule for life,” Bhebhe said, adding that Ugandans risk having a life president should Article 102(b) that caps the presidential age at 75 be changed.

“If you make a mistake and lift the age limit…because already you made a mistake when you allowed the [two] term limits to be removed, you will face the same problem we are facing in Zimbabwe.”

L-R: Winfred Kiiza with Zimbabwean MPs Dubeko Sibanda, Brian Tshuma and Abednico Bhebhe at Nakulabye

Bhebhe’s group was introduced at the rallies by his Ugandan counterpart Winfred Kiiza who said the Zimbabweans were motivated to join the campaign by the politics back home.

“They have a problem back home similar to the one we are likely to face and they are here to stand in solidarity with us as we carry on this fight against a person who wants to rule us forever,” Kiiza said.


They came into the country as part of the visiting Zimbabwean parliament’s Finance committee currently benchmarking the workings of the Finance, Planning and Economic Development committee of the Parliament of Uganda.

“They are our friends; they are part of a delegation of nine MPs from Zimbabwe who came to visit the Parliament of Uganda and when they got here, they learnt of this campaign and decided to join us,” Kiiza told The Observer on the sidelines of the rally at Nakulabye.

The opposition caucus under the Parliamentary Forum for Constitutional and Human Rights yesterday began its second leg of campaigns against the constitutional amendments covering Lubaga North and Makindye West constituencies in Kampala before taking the campaign to Kira municipality in Wakiso district later today, Friday.

According to Kiiza, the three Zimbabwean opposition legislators will also join today’s rallies in Kira municipality. Like in Masaka last Friday, truckloads of police officers surrounded the venues of the two city rallies. Several armed security personnel looked on as the MPs’ campaign drifted from the bill before parliament to amend Article 26, and talked about the growing agitation within NRM to amend Article 102(b).

“I will not say much but I want to tell you that I don’t like the leader in Uganda and he must go,” Sibanda said to a cheering crowd.

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago joined MPs Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda (Kira Municipality), Medard Lubega Sseggona (Busiro East), Florence Namayanja (Bukoto East), Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) and Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala) at the rallies.

Others were, Mathias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality), Francis Zzaake (Mityana Municipality), Latif Ssebaggala (Kawempe North), Emmanuel Ssempala Kigozi (Makindye Ssaabagabo Municipality), Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu (Kalungu West), Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) and Moses Kasibante (Lubaga North).

The MPs argued that any amendments to Article 26 to allow government take compulsory possession of private land minus compensation of owners would also require an amendment to Article 237, which puts land ownership in the hands of Ugandans.



0 #11 Akot 2017-07-30 18:04
Lakwena, thanks!

Those of us who had chance to meet-talk with Tsvangirai when he came to Uganda before their independence are disappointed with him!

Tsvangirai, like Ugandans forget that it's the people who bring change & for this, they must have the leadership with viable socioeconomic programmes to draw them to, otherwise, they just go along with status quo, even when it's not fuctioning!

Change is to go for better & not to emptyness!

Yet, the people must also be awake after, as in USA-UK, they bring real change because the old politicians dropped out will make it so difficult to take off!

Yet, for Uganda, it's Unity to throw museveni out that MUST COME FIRST, otherwise, the dictator is soon becoming real owner of Uganda officially-legally-constitutionally!

With such division-mess what will Ugandans Zimbabweans do when their dictators drop dead even in 30 years?
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0 #12 Akot 2017-07-30 18:19
Maureen, greed, yet,

Globl media can only inform the world but do not have the power to change things: only Ugandans can & this they MUST do before they officially-legally-constitutionally & naively hand over the country to museveni & make each & every Ugandan foreigner-outsider-trouble causer...!

It's 'the people" that have the power & as long as they just go along with status quo, there can never be change!

See, Ugandans are not even aware that they are ending up just giving the country to museveni & they won't be able to fight him ever!

But Mugabe is Zimbabwean & cannot make his people foreigners as museveni will!

Mugabe cannot own his country & take it away from his people while museveni can own & throw Ugandans out-make them constitutionally foreigners & take over each & every tribal land...& Ugandans won't have the legal right/means to contest!
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0 #13 Akot 2017-07-30 18:36
Dembula, thanks, though,

Zimbabwean Mugabe cannot own his coutnry & make Zimbabweans foreigners - he can only ba a dictator!

But former refugee/asylum seeker museveni is ending up being owner of Uganda & will make Ugandans unwelcomed foreigners in the country!

Mugabe fought to free his country, but did not calm down & let anger go so that he becomes a leader & not a ruler/dictator oppressing the very people he fought to free & protect & give home to!

Mugabe treats his people as the racists he fought & even forgets that without his people's help, him would never have come to power!

Museveni fought to have his own country & is on the point of getting it through constitutional amendments, unless Ugandans wake up & stop him before they become foreigners with no legal means to fight museveni!
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0 #14 Akot 2017-07-30 18:55
Quoting Lysol:

All African oppositions should unite to kick out such leaders. That time will come.

Thanks & this must start with Uganda because, while Mugabe cannot own his country, museveni who is former refugee-asylim seeker can own Uganda & make Ugandans foreigners constitutionally!

Yet, without the 'people UNITING for common cause & making their statement' opposition parties will not Unite either: then all that is there without UNITY of the people, is opposition leaders 'struggle for power' & not struggle for Freedom-better living of the people through alternative good governance!

Uganda opposition leaders want to replace museveni but non of them can/will: museveni has Ugandans on his side with tax money in time & in peace!

Unity of opposition with just 1 leader with viable alternative socioeconomic programme, with the people United for is the only chance!
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