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Museveni Calls Age Limit Judges ‘Useless’ For Quashing MPs’ 7year Tenure

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President Yoweri Museveni has cast a stone on the recent concluded age limit judgment that saw all the judges declare the MPs’ 7year tenure null and void.

In his latest dossier on recent happenings in the country, President Museveni who is currently in South Africa said that the judges are not the ones in charge of the country and that they spend more time on form and not substance, on procedure and not substance.

“Unfortunately, our judges in Uganda spend more time on form and not substance, on procedure and not substance. My freedom fighter’s sense of justice, in this matter (the age limit ruling) focuses more on the convenience of 7 years rather than 5 years,” Museveni said.

Museveni defended the need for 7years saying, “With the 5 years, a lot of time is spent on electioneering and less time on development; the 1st two years settling in, the 3rd year some work in the constituency and, then, by the 4th year, electioneering again.”

“In the end, however, the judges are not the ones in charge of the country.  If the NRM MPs follow my guidelines and bond closely with the people, through wealth and job creation, we can, together with the people, make the necessary Constitutional reforms, judges or no judges,” he said.

He added that the Constitution should facilitate the modernization of Uganda and the economic and political integration of Africa for the survival of the people of Africa as free people, not just the theatre of democracy of form without addressing substance.

“The Judges should have taken into consideration the recent L.C.1 and Women Councils and Committees elections which gave massive victory to the NRM, soon after the age limit and the seven years’ debate. This was more or less a referendum. There was open participation by the millions,” Museveni said.

“We shall harmonise and galvanize our position. The undemocratic age limit nonsense was clear. “Nibagaya Engabo oti mwihemu abagurusi?” (How can you say old soldiers should be disqualified when everybody’s efforts are needed because the good soldiers are not enough?)”

On Thursday last year, five judges led by Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny- Dollo ruled on the consolidated petition challenging the enactment of age limit Bill that among others scrapped off presidential age limit, extended MPs’ term in office from 5 to 7years. Whereas four judges ruled the age limit was constitutionally removed, Justice Kenneth Kakuru quashed the entire process of amending the Constitution declaring it null and void. All the judges also ruled that the MPs acted in selfishness to extend their reign from 5 to 7years.

“Parliament did not have authority to amend this section without considering other sections of this constitution. There are unconstitutional and therefore fall by the wayside,” Justice Cheborion Barishaki said.

Barishaki added, “It was selfish and goes against the principle of good governance. If it had been done in the will of good governance then it would have taken effect in next parliament. Therefore, these provisions were passed in disregard of various provisions of the constitution and parliament rules of procedure.”

READ MUSEVENI’S FULL STATEMENT

Country men and women,

  1. I draw your attention to my two recent short speeches: one, in Parliament when H.E. Modi addressed Parliament of Uganda; and, the second one, when, I addressed BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in Johannesburg, South Africa. All of them illuminate different angles of NRM’s four principles: Patriotism (anti-sectarianism); Pan-Africanism (working for African Unity economically and politically); social-economic transformation (modernizing the African society); and Democracy (the democracy of substance, not mere form). We are making good friends all over the world that will help us to achieve our goals, starting with unity of our African brothers and sisters in the form of the EAC and CFTA in order to unite our markets.
  2. Unfortunately, our judges in Uganda spend more time on form and not substance, on procedure and not substance. My freedom fighter’s sense of justice, in this matter (the age limit ruling) focuses more on the convenience of 7 years rather than 5 years.  With the 5 years, a lot of time is spent on electioneering and less time on development; the 1st two years settling in, the 3rd year some work in the constituency and, then, by the 4th year, electioneering again.

    In the end, however, the judges are not the ones in charge of the country.  If the NRM MPs follow my guidelines and bond closely with the people, through wealth and job creation, we can, together with the people, make the necessary Constitutional reforms, judges or no judges.

The Constitution should facilitate the modernization of Uganda and the economic and political integration of Africa for the survival of the people of Africa as free people, not just the theatre of democracy of form without addressing substance.

The Judges should have taken into consideration the recent L.C.1 and Women Councils and Committees elections which gave massive victory to the NRM, soon after the age limit and the seven years’ debate. This was more or less a referendum. There was open participation by the millions.

We shall harmonise and galvanize our position. The undemocratic age limit nonsense was clear. “Nibagaya Engabo oti mwihemu abagurusi?” (How can you say old soldiers should be disqualified when everybody’s efforts are needed because the good soldiers are not enough?)

  1. I congratulate the NRM on winning the 4 seats for MPs and the 5 seats for Mayors in the seven new municipalities. The new municipalities were: Apac, Nebbi, Ibanda, Sheema, Bugiri, Njeru and Kotido. It is a shame to hear of the sectarian manipulation by some elements of opposition in Bugiri- using religion (Islamism) and tribalism (Busogaism Vs Badaama). Such nonsense grows when there are weaknesses in the local area of handling the social- economic issues, service delivery and lack of sensitization. The NRM leaders need to deal with social- economic issues, and the rest will be easy. This year’s budget has focused on these very issues.

Those who use sectarianism of religion and tribe or gender chauvinism  are bankrupt ideologically and dangerous for the future of Africa. They were the problem of Uganda in the past and they have no value economically and, therefore, socially ( socio-economic transformation).

I went to the schools in the 1950s and 1960s because my father was able to pay the school fees of that time by selling some of his cattle in the monthly auction markets of Ntungamo. Who were buying the cattle? Three businessmen, none of them a Munyankore. These were: Walusimbi-Mpanga from Kampala, Bukyenya (Bukenya) from Mbarara and Shear, a Muzungu, operating out of Ishaka, that was taking cattle to Kilembe to feed the miners there. Who, then, were the supporters of my education apart from my father? Certainly not the Banyankore or Church of Uganda, my denomination.

Sectarianism is Pseudo-idealogy. If we get evidence about the promoters of sectarianism, we shall act against them  politically and criminally. I also got alleged reports of importing voters in Bugiri as happened in Kyadondo and Jinja East. The case of Jinja East is in the courts on the same issue of importing voters from other areas. Back to the question of sectarianism, we should never allow identity to eclipse or subvert interest. Down with opportunists ( Nalilawa, abanyaanda) – those who do not have positive ( beneficial ) principles that cause our countries to grow.

Thanks everybody,
By Ssabalwanyi in South Africa.

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