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Age limit: Gen Mugisha Muntu cautions FDC MPs

Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, the FDC president, has urged party MPs not to back any move to have the constitution amended to remove the cap on the presidential age limit.

Speaking during a thanksgiving ceremony for Kabweri MP, Francis Barnabas Gonahasa in Kibuku district last week, Muntu said that if FDC MPs support the move, they will have betrayed the people.

“They [NRM] have started doing maneuvers, be very careful. This country belongs to 35 million people. When it comes to the fight in parliament, be firm and tell people that you believe in their stand to oppose the amendment. If you don’t, you are just there simply for yourselves, not for the people.”

Presently, the constitution stipulates that one cannot stand for president if they are aged 75 and above. However there have been calls by some NRM MPs to have this age cap lifted such that President Museveni, who is 72 years but will be 77 years in 2021, can stand again in five years’ time.

Muntu told the FDC MPs that while they are few, they should not panic when they encounter political challenges. FDC has 36 MPs in the 10th parliament. The FDC president described Gonahasa as a hardworking mature, experienced   and solid individual and also pledged to give him his full support.

“I will give him full backup as a leader. Politics is very scientific. I am also assuring the opposition that if we want to take power, we must know that politic is scientific and as FDC that is the direction we should take,” Muntu said. 

L-R: Mugisha Muntu, Francis Gonahasa, Winnie Kiiza, Jennifer Namuyangu and other leaders cut the cake

Currently, Gonahasa is the only FDC MP from Bukedi sub-region which comprises Tororo, Pallisa, Busia, Budaka, Butaleja and Kibuku districts. The ceremony was attended by MPs, religious leaders and politicians from across the political divide.

NRM members including Jennifer Namuyangu, the state minister for Local Government; Lowilla Oketayot, the Woman MP for Pader and Milly Mugeni, the Butaleja Woman MP described Gonahasa as a visionary, focused, skillful and a resourceful man whom parliament would greatly miss if the people had voted otherwise.

Muntu urged NRM MPs at the function to oppose the removal of the presidential age-limit if we want to have a stable country.

He queried: “What stops you, Hon Jennifer Namuyangu to stand as a candidate to lead the Movement, to be elected as the president of the country, what stops you? Because that is what we want, we want fairness. We want to ensure there are democratic practices, that there is transparency. That the one who wins, wins and the one who loses supports the one who wins; I just saw it happen here. Those who ran against Hon Gonahasa were here giving testimonies; what is the problem with that?”

Winnie Kiiza, the leader of the opposition in parliament, said Gonahasa was a Godsend. Other prominent speakers at the function were veteran politician, Amanya Mushega; Nathan Nandala-Mafabi, the Budadiri West MP; Alice Alaso, the former Serere Woman MP, and Proscovia Salaamu Musumba, the former chairperson of Kamuli district.

Mafabi lashed at NRM government’s new tagline Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo (this term there are no jokes), saying the old order is going to prevail.

“The president said kisanja hakuna mchezo meaning he has been doing mchezo (joking) for the last 30 years. The poverty you see in Kibuku was brought by kisanja hakuna muchezo. Mr Museveni and his team are not doing us a favour. We pay our money and we need water, roads and food,” Mafabi said.

The ceremony held at Kabweri secondary school in Kibuku district was full of colour characterized by traditional songs and dances of the Bagwere. The venue was well decorated with FDC colors of white and blue, also the cake that was cut was in the FDC colors. Two of the former aspirants for the seat also attended and wished the host support in his endeavors.

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