By Richard Akandwanaho
The Vice Chairperson of Kick Corruption Out of Uganda Rev Fr Gaetano Batanyenda has said that a proposal to extend the term of office for all political offices to seven years is a clear indication of the selfishness and greed of the political leaders in Uganda.
Over a year after the Supreme Court upheld the Constitutional Court decision that rejected extension of the current term of Parliament and local councils for seven years, MPs are seeking other options to have the term of office extended as they had sought in the presidential age limit petition last year.
The extension of the term for all political offices to seven years is though not among the proposals Ndorwa East MP Wilfred Niwagaba included in his Private Member’s Bill seeking to amend the Constitution to change the structure of government, but the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee has proposed the extension.
However, our reporter has seen a copy of the Committee’s report in which the MPs led by the chairperson, Jacob Oboth-Oboth (West Budama, Ind), have rejected Niwagaba’s main proposals and instead introduced a new provision in the Bill to have the term of office of Parliament and other elected officials extended to seven years beginning May 2021.
The issue of the extension of the political term of office from five to seven years has also not been opposed in a minority report signed by Medard Lubega Sseggona (Busiro East, DP), Opposition Chief Whip Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (Kira Municipality, FDC) and Asuman Basalirwa (Bugiri Municipality, Jeema).
However, speaking during a press conference in Kabale municipality, Fr Gaetano said the proposal is a clear manifestation of the selfishness and greed of political leaders in Uganda. He added that there is no way Uganda will develop when leaders at all levels want to cling on power for selfish interests.
Fr Batanyenda said that the legislators should instead be concerned to restore the term limits rather than moving to increase their term of office.