By Max Patrico Ocaido
Igara West County MP Raphael Magyezi, the mover of the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2017 that has been code-named the ‘Age Limit’ Bill will today face off with the committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs that is charged with scrutinizing the Bill.
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire is also expected to appear before the committee.
The Committee that is chaired by Jacob Markson Oboth Oboth, (West Budama South) will tomorrow kickoff the process of scrutinizing by interfacing with various stakeholders and government in public hearings.
The scrutiny also involves reviewing relevant and related laws and documents.
Most importantly, Magyezi’s Bill intends to amend article 102(b) and article 183(2(b) to scrap off age limits for candidates seeking election to the office of the president and that of LCV district respectively.
According to the program released by Oboth Oboth, Magyezi will appear before the committee to explain what prompted him to bring a private member’s Bill that has seen a sharp divide between amongst Ugandans opposed and those in support.
According to the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure, a committee has only 45 days within which to prepare the Bill and present the report to Parliament for the second reading. The Bill, now popularly known as the age limit Bill is expected to be due on November 22nd 2017 before it is presented to plenary for the second reading where it will be debated clause by clause by the Committee of the Whole House.
Other stakeholders who will appear before the committee include; the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, members of the Uganda Law Reform Commission, former Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki and former Supreme Court judge George Wilson Kanyeihamba, former 2016 presidential candidates, members of civil society, academia, special interest groups like youths and women, political scientists among others.
However, recently the committee’s program was stifled after former presidential candidate FDC’s Kizza Besigye turned down the invitation to give his views on the age limit Bill saying the committee has in the recent past failed to absorb and adopt his ideas.
Former prime minister Apollo Nsibambi also rejected the committee invitation although he didn’t give his reasons.