Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has called upon church leaders to stay away from the controversial age limit bill debate.
Speaking during the age limit consultative meeting in Kigezi region last week, Rugunda asked to the men of God to slow sighting that quick decisions and judgments may end up putting church leaders and followers at cross roads thus failing the word of God.
He noted that religious men have to remain neutral and embark on preaching the message of peace and reconciliation among all the people regardless of their political affiliations.
This came few days after the men of God’ under their umbrella of the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda-IRCU Called upon the government to withdraw the controversial age limit citing that its bound to cause chaos among the people of God.
This was accompanied by the decision of Inter-Religious Council of Uganda-IRCU turning down an invitation to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of parliament. The team of the clergy was requested to share views on the proposed Magezi bill and seeks to offer Museveni a life presidency tenure.
However religious leaders left the nation in silence when they wrote to the committee advising that members make use of a press release issued on September 12, and a petition to the Speaker of Parliament dated September 18 to form an opinion on the proposed amendment.
The two documents were signed by seven religious leaders who include the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, the Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje, the Archbishop of the Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga and the Archbishop of Kampala Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga.
They insist that they cannot be part of the cue scrapping off article 102b since its the only way the Government can secure peaceful transition power. They added that they failed to secure the term limits removal because it was not given room for scrutiny thereby calling upon the ruling party to accord respect to the constitution and leave it intact.
Recently the Bishop of Rwenzori Diocese, Reuben Kisembo also cautioned Members of Parliament against accepting bribes to change the age limit the constitution to allow President, Yoweri Museveni to stand for re-election.
He made this statement while speaking during the Easter Service this morning at St John’s Cathedral Kabarole, where he noted that should the MPs accept to be bribed; they will have done a disservice to the people of Uganda.
“Our Members of Parliament should desist from being bribed. They should not tamper with our constitution, “Kisembo said amidst applause from the congregation.
Kisembo who referred to 2005 when MPs were bribed to amend the constitution to remove the two-term limit, said a repeat of the same will be an injustice to the people of Uganda.
“If the MPs are bribed the second time, it will be injustice to its citizens. They should respect our constitution,” Kisembo said. The 1995 constitution bars anyone above 75 years of age from standing for president. This means President Museveni would be ineligible to seek re-election in 2021.
After this statement, other regions like Kigezi, West Nile, and South Rwenzori among others have also come up and boldly condemned the attempts to have the book of law amended.
It should be noted the ‘men of God’ have joined the Makerere University Law Dons and former Prime Minister Apollo Nsibambi, and the elders Forum who wrote to the committee declining to appear as requested.