Anxiety is mounting as National Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs prepare for Kyankwanzi retreat ahead of the highly anticipated ‘M7 Age Limit’ debate.
While interfacing with journalists on Monday at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Auditorium, Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa revealed that NRM retreat in Kyankwanzi was delayed for fear of interfering with parliament business.
She denied media reports that the Kyankwanzi retreat had flopped after NRM MPs had allegedly asked for millions of money in a bid to support the constitutional amendment to remove presidential age limit.
“The retreat had to be rescheduled because the program of parliament at that time had statutory time frame because I chose two days and I failed because of the program in parliament. But you (media) continue to put your own reasons. No MP has approached me or put pressure on me to ask for money so that they can pass whatever legislations,” Nankabirwa who also doubles as Kiboga Woman MP said.
“The 9th Parliament had their retreat in January, but 10th Parliament decided to push their further because we were still dealing with issues of hunger and other pertinent issues. Right now I was waiting for a recess of about two weeks so that I don’t collide with the Speaker by taking over 300 MPs to Kyankwanzi,” she said.
She added that whereas the retreat will be rescheduled soon this month, the scrapping of presidential age limit is not part of the agenda saying that the program for Kyankwanzi is already drawn.
“I have the program and there is no such a thing in the program. Do you even think he (President) can allow such a thing to be discussed in Kyankwanzi? Constitutional amendments will have their time and the correct forum for discussion but not through the retreat,” she said.
However, Nankabirwa admitted that “some circles want us to handle the issue of constitutional amendment so they keep tickling us to say when it is coming.”
“There are many interested parties in the age limit thing and it is not about Kyankwanzi. Those for and those against and this is causing anxiety and excitement,” Nankabirwa said.
She added that the only directive regarding constitutional amendment that she knows of which came from cabinet is on Article 26 which talks about land ownership.
According to article 102 (b) of 1995 Constitution, a person is not qualified for election as President unless that person is not less than 35 years and not more than 75 years of age. President Yoweri Museveni will be 77years of age in 2021, thus illegible for reelection.