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Age Limit: A Brief look into the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Report on the Age Limit!

Today, was the day that the 10th Parliament, the Committee of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs majority report was leaked. As Speaker Rebecca Kadaga yesterday gave the public knowledge that the Constitutional Amendment will be up for second reading after the Committee is done on the 18th December 2017. The bill of Igara West Raphael Magyezi private bill got passed through the first voting and ended under scrutiny by the Committee. Even though this report make it just look benign and dumb. The questions for the reason for this isn’t because of discrimination or any other sort. That is just political ploy by the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Who has a record of changing laws when he needs them too. If it is the constitution or another bill. It will be amended and changed when he needs it. The same reason for why the Article 102 (b) suddenly has to lifted and changed with an artificial provision.

The Committee is trying their best to legitimize it, but it doesn’t take away the purpose and their reasons for their recommendations. I am not surprised, this was expected by the Committee, it is fitting the paradigm of National Resistance Movement (NRM) under the rule of Museveni. They are trying to find special ways of fitting his narrative to his life. Without implicating himself to much. So it seems like it fits something else, while in the end its him who benefits. If it would go wrong, someone else has to fall on their sword. If someone get more ambition than Museveni, they are sacked or called rebels within the NRM. Therefore, expect the quotes I have taken to be in this regard. I have not taken from the ones questioning the lifting, because we all know the reason why to keep it. The Republic was made to serve and be there for Museveni, but he has taken it hostage. The NRM are just accepting it, because they are eating of his plate, the little breadcrumbs he is serving now and then. Therefore, this report is reflecting this. Take a look!

Article 102 (b) threatens democracy since Article 1 of the Constitution grants people of Uganda the right to determine who leads them and how they are ruled. Therefore restricting their choice on account of age would deny them the opportunity to fully exercise their freedom to decide who leads them” (…) “that Article 102 (b) is discriminatory against the youth and aged and is contrary to article 2l which guarantees equality of all people before the law” (…) “The youth and aged also want to participate in decision making process in the country. Having a lower and upper age limit would limit the participation of the youth and the aged in the country’s leadership” (…) “That age doesn’t translate into capacity since the youth and aged persons were able to serve efficiently in the office of President” (…) “that since life expectancy has increased from the time this Article was proposed and considering that more Ugandans are living longer, the population of the youth and aged persons, which are increasing every year, are productive and must be utilised” (…) “There is no empirical evidence to prove the assertion that persons below 35 years and above 75 years are not biologically endowed for leadership” (Parliament of Uganda, P: 60, 2017).

I wonder how it suddenly became a threat in 2017, when it took 22 years before it became an issue and a problem that the whole republic had to consider. If it had been a threat, wouldn’t the Committees and the working groups in the years before 1995 edited it out or at least changed the text to make it without reason? Or was the group members so drunk on the personality cult, that they was worshiping the words of Museveni back-then?

I wonder, if the Members of Parliament, meant it with sincerity that age doesn’t translate into leadership. So an infant and boy-scout is ready to become an MP too? Is a 100 year old struggling to walk and talk, good enough with a sound mind to run a republic? Age is complex in the sense, that no individual is the same. That people age differently and become mature differently, as also people aging in various aspects and get defects with time. Their all natural causes to live and to breathe. We all get deceases and has issues during our lives, that creates fatigue. Which effects our minds and our body ability to reflect on our surroundings. That is why we wants leaders with all senses and a clear mind. To be able to govern and steer a hectic ship as a Republic is. It shouldn’t be someone with an advanced age, as they can be taken advantage off and used by spouse or by doctors. This has been in the past also not to long ago with a certain Grace and her husband Robert Mugabe. If Janet tries to pull off the same, maybe then the army might attack Museveni too and put him under house arrest. Well, that is just speculation. Still, the thought of an advanced aged President is a frightened perspective, as it will weaken the persons ability to govern with full force and vigor.

The Committee further believes that whereas Article 102 (b) is not discriminatory, it marginalizes against the aged and the youth. The Committee notes that Article 102 (b) marginalizes against the youth and the elderly by limiting their opportunities especially as far as offering their candidature for the highest office is concerned. The Committee observed that Article 32 of the Constitution obligates the state to take affirmative action in favour of the marginalized groups to which the youth and elderly belong. The Committee believes that removing the age restrictions in Article 102 (b) is one way of streamline the provision for purpose of redressing the imbalance therein against persons below the age of 35 and those above the age of 75” (Parliament of Uganda, P: 62, 2017).

It is hard to believe that this will help the ones that under 35 years, when it is amended just because of the age of Museveni. It will not change anything and any imbalance, unless suddenly the laws change so much that more people can afford to run campaigns and there is actually a democratic playing field for all candidates. Which it is not at the moment. This is a mute argument to use the youth, because they are marginalized and blocked by this law. No one said some experience isn’t helpful when running for office and actually know something about politics before you run.

RECOMMENDATION

The committee recommends that-

(1) The age prescribed in Article 102 be reduced from 35 years to 18 years and for the upper age restriction to be removed” (…) “(2) Article 102 is redrafted to specifically prescribe the qualifications for a person to stand for president. These should including him or her being-” (…) “(a) a citizen of Uganda ; (b) a registered voter; (c) a resident in Uganda at the time of submission of his or her

and / (c) having completed a minimum formal education of Advanced standard or its equivalent” (Parliament of Uganda, P: 63-64, 2017).

They are really using the Youth for all its worth, even though it is to give Museveni a life presidency. They are not putting that in print. But that is the initial results of the change of the law. That is why the text are not saying any age, neither way, but they are using the youth because it is easier to fit. Than using advanced age. Since we all know it ridiculous!

The Committee observed that whereas many reasons were advanced for limits, one of the most prominent reasons was the existence of Article 102 (b), which persons above the age of 75 from being eligible for election as president. The reasoning at the time was that Article 102 was a deterrent measure against an incumbent seeking unlimited term as president and was sufficient to deter such a person. The Committee therefore notes that removing the age restrictions in Article 102 will remove the last remaining measure against the indefinite seeking of the office of President” (Parliament of Uganda, P: 91, 2017).

So they are blaming Dr. Milton Obote his predecessor for the reason, but ironically when he is gone. The provision isn’t needed. Obote is the problem, but not Museveni who apparently is still there. Just to bring some short words of Wisdom from Professor Oloka in 2006, it said this:

Your attitude to the kisanja saga relates to a larger problem, which goes to the essence of the problem of democracy in this country. Constitutionalism is about accepting the rules of the game as written and agreed upon, whether those rules favour you, or not. If the goalposts are changed whenever the tide goes against those in power then we have simply returned to the stage when Apollo Milton Obote abrogated the 1966 Constitution, rather than face the possibility of losing his job as Prime Minister. The 2005 amendments to the 1995 Constitution were the non-violent equivalent of Obote’s 1966 abrogation. My short point is that in the final analysis, constitutionalism is based on trust, not on the document in which the Constitution is embodied, because as you and your supporters have said time and again; nothing in that document is sacred. Just as it is not the quoting of biblical verses that shows whether you are a true Christian; it is your actions. Mr. President, how can you expect to be trusted for example on the issue of an East African Federation which today you are so much in favour of, and tomorrow may have turned completely against, if you discover that the Federation constitution does not favour your political interests?” (Oloka, 2006).

He couldn’t say it much better than this. Museveni is changing the Constitution, when he needs the fix. He is drug-addicted for power, he needs the next fix. This will be his re-up. The stash will be ready and he can continue with his addiction. That is what this is about. Nothing else. So it is special that the Legal Committee is blaming the provision of the law on Obote, when it was there all along because Museveni wanted it first. Just like accepted the term limits. Until, he had spent the hours and the years on office. Therefore, he needed that fix before the age limit is breaking his bones and his heart.

If it doesn’t happen, he will do like addicts do: lie, manipulate, impulsive behavior, criminal behavior, blame shifting and sensation seeking. He is already lying, manipulating the MPs, using criminal behavior with corrupt payments of the MPs and putting blame on others. He is just missing sensation seeking. If not, he will start another radio campaign or try to get it forced through with Special Forces Command and Police Officers like through the first reading. We can just imagine what will happen next week!

But do I believe the reasoning in this report. No and No! Peace.

Reference:

Parliament of Uganda – ‘Report of the Sectoral Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Constitution (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2017’, December 2017

Oloka, Joe Onyange – ‘Oloka responds to the President on term limits’ (31.07.2006) link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1143715/oloka-responds-president-term-limits

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RDC: UDPS – “Concerne: Information de Manifestation” (13.12.2017)

Opinion: Final Expectations considering the lifting of the Age Limit!

Pictures from the First Reading of the Age Limit Bill in Parliament in September 2017.

I expect no grand finale, no grand stand-off and salute. I just expect are law finalized through ceasing the central business district of Kampala. All the way from Constitutional Square over to Kololo. Everything will be check-points, military police and Special Forces Command walking in and around the gates of the Parliament.

I expect the ones opposing the bill, being arrested or taken away as hostages away from the Parliament. I except the red-ribbon people in the streets being beaten and silenced. As their leaders are behind bars and awaiting trials and also verified charges. I expect the Pro-Lifting the bill to talk in reckless behavior and about the ill of discrimination and how the anti-abolishing MPs are destroying the peace of the state. Someone even applaud the military takeover and the ceasing of the Parliament for the case of the bill itself.

We can expect the people to be silenced and afraid, as the rising tensions and the military presence is more out of an action movie, than of actual legislation being passed in the National Assembly. It is like Sylvester Stallone and his renegades are ruling the courts and the people are afraid of the millions of bullets they have in the banana clips.

While the radios, TV-Stations and media in general are subdued or even silenced if they speak ill. If they try their lose license or Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) might file a report asking certain journalists and personalities of air. Since they are damaging the calm of the President, while he is awaiting his Christmas present made in the name of Raphael Magyezi. Who is a stooge and relic of a party, who are just blindly following their leader without being allowed to think on their own.

The Second Reading will not a joyful occasion, more violence and more tension. The talks in parliament between IGP Kale Kayihura and Genal David Muhoozi is to secure the ones listed as anti, will be taken care of. While Rebecca Kadaga is informed that this will happen. Since the President does not want this law put into troubles by defiance and disorder inside the chambers.

We can only expect all of this, because that is what Museveni has ordered before, we have seen it all unfold. We can only expect the same again. As the Police and Military will be used to silence both MPs and also the public. To show the power and the need to change the law to fit Museveni himself. Peace.

Gen. Mugisha Muntu Press Statement (10.12.2017)

Age Limit: NRM MPs, if your serious about lifting the Presidential Retirement Age; Why are they not also changing the compulsory retirement age in Pensions Act as well?

Pensions Act of 1946, which is still enacted and still viable law in the Republic of Uganda, set the standard for any civil servant or anyone who is an officer within the public service. Someone who works for the state and does work in different parts of the government. This law was enacted while it was still a protectorate, it is a colonial law. However, it has not been substituted or changed since then. It hasn’t been vital for the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the 31 years rule of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. He hasn’t mind this one. But there are one part of this law, that is key to the problems with abolishing the article 102(b), which says a President cannot be older, than 75 years old.

Why does a secretary, a minor compulsory state workers has to retire earlier in the rules of compulsory retirement as stated in the Pensions Act are clear about the age and regulation within the law that is still in-force.

Just take a look: “12. Compulsory retirement. An officer shall retire on attaining the age of sixty years” (Pensions Act, 1946). It is hard not to understand what this states. What it says and what it means. This is actually says. If the NRM had an issue with this. They could have amended this so all compulsory retirement could be prolonged, even made sure to write something, in the fashion of, “if a person has the mental capacity and is not drunkard, he can still work as a civil servant until he is eighty years. However, the state will enforce that most officers are retiring at the age of sixty years”. That with some of the words of the defense of President standing for more terms and not caring about age.

That is why I feel sorry for the state of affairs within the NRM, as the Legal Committee Members of Parliament from the party had this to say, as they will deliver report and recommendations to the Parliament in the coming days. As reported by Mugerwa: “In backing the removal of age limit caps, the 18 MPs branded Article 102 (b) as “discriminatory” and insisted that the choice should be left to the voters since under Article 1, power belongs to the people. The members also argued that there are many leaders all over the world who are above 75 and that many prosperous countries like the US don’t have age restrictions” (Mugerwa, 2017).

Well, why is there limitations on other public officer, but there will be none for the President? Why is he so godly, that he never has fatigue or lack power with age? Is it because the NRM is a cult, who all praise Museveni and lives and breathes his wisdom. They will all fall to ground and die when he is not existing. Is that what the NRM are implying? Since that is how it looks from the outside. A random public officer, a civil service officer after the law has compulsory retirement age of 60 years. While the President still has the limit currently at 75 years. That means he can still in office 15 years longer, than a random person at NSSF and KCCA, but as President he can stay put at the State House. That is discrimination. The President is just one person, the rest is the dozens upon dozens of civil servants that has lay down their work and go farming. You know?

So the NRM MPs in the legal committee has written ready made statements, which fits the paradigm of Museveni and his twisted gut. There isn’t anything shocking or significant change from what has been said over the recent months. It just bothers me, how neglectful this people are. That they are not thinking of the President as a public officer or civil servant, a part of the government and also appointing others. Why should that person be so glorified that others should be under submission, but he is above the ordinary law?

If the NRM MPs believes that the age limit is discrimination, abolish it also within the Pensions Act. Take away that provision too, make everyone live under the same regime as the President. Unless, you will be honest and say it is just made for the President, the current President and the life project of Museveni. Say it! Don’t be a wanker, say it! Speak up, tell this is gift-wrapped special limited edition law fixed and amended for Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. No one else. That is the lie and we all know it.

Because you haven’t cared about the civil servant, the public officers and their retirement age. You haven’t work on that or fixed that. That is not discriminatory, but however, since it the President. Then it became so. The Ugandan public is not that stupid and neither is the world. NRM, say your a Museveni Cult and say that your fixing this for master, because your are his noble slaves. You are working on his command and after his orders. You are not doing this to create about Uganda. That is another lie. You have million others more pushing problems to fix, but are stuck in the limbo here. Since Museveni needs this. That is why the argument is foolish and you as NRM MP knows it. Peace.

Reference:

Mugerwa, Yasiin – ‘Legal committee MPs approve Age Limit Bill’ (10.12.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Legal-committee-MPs-approve-Age-Limit-Bill/688334-4221594-j4ruq0/index.html

RDC: Lettre du Abbe Vincent Tshombe – “Objet: Manifestations pacifiques pour l’application de l’Accord de la Saint Sylvestre” (05.12.2017)

ICGLR Condemns the Attack on MONUSCO-FIB, and FARDC troops in Beni, Eastern DRC (09.12.2017)

The Allied Defense Force (ADF) back in the spotlight after an attack on FARDC and MONUSCO yesterday!

The Ugandan based militia, which has two groups ADF-NALU and ADF, one led by the now detained Jamir Mukulu and the other one led by Seka Bukulu. The biggest group is the last one, which has about 1,000 militants, while Mukulu is about 30 people. That meaning since the reports on the attack, it wasn’t the ADF under Mukulu attacking MONUSCO yesterday, but the militant group under Bukulu, since there we’re 72 militants killed, while 15 Tanzanian Peacekeepers was killed, 5 FARDC soldier and 43 wounded as well. Therefore, the killings yesterday was substantial and the biggest attack on MONUSCO since 2010.

This attack happens while the governments of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo are having meeting in Mbarara, discussing provisions against insecurity and across the borders. The continuation of the Operation Sokola 1 that has been on since 2014. Still, the problem of ADF and others in the region are there.

For those of you who has no knowledge of ADF. I will give some information about who they are and amount. Just briefly. Before what happen yesterday and also in Mbarara. As the discussions between GoU and GoDRC. Which will entail certain changes at the end of the day. Since the ADF has its origin in the Rwenzori mountains, before becoming a vital part of militias in and around North-Kivu.

Allied Defense Force origin:

The Alliance of Democratic Forces (ADF) is made up of Ugandan opposition forces, supported by the Government of Sudan, which fought the Government of Uganda. According to the UN, most of its members are Islamists who want to establish Sharia law in Uganda” (…) “The ADF is led by a Muslim, Jamir Mukulu and operated in western Uganda. Historically it has used Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) territory for its bases. However, the ADF was initially severely crippled by the establishment of Laurent Kabila’s Government in the DRC in May 1997 and by its subsequent provision to the UPDF of access to rebel bases in the DRC” (…) “By March 2016 attacks on civilians in the Beni region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo had killed at least 550 people over 18 months. Congolese officials placed the blame on the Allied Democratic Forces, characterized as a Ugandan Islamist movement, but a report from the Congo Research Group says it may not be that simple. Jason Stearns, lead author of the report, agreed that the ADF was partly responsible but said the group was not working alone. “The first conclusion [is] that the ADF is not really what people make it out to be,” he said. “It’s not this foreign Islamist force; it’s a force that is much more rooted in local society. And the second conclusion is that it’s not just the ADF but also others who are involved in the massacres.” (Global Security, 2016).

ADF has a financial support network that includes local and international sources. In 2014, the Group documented that ADF received financing through international money transfers, the theft of Congolese army salaries and the delivery of funds to camps by recruits and ADF agents. The Group also received credible information that ADF derived funding from harvesting timber in its area of control” (UNSC, 2015).

ADF-NALU comprises some 800-1,400 combatants, without including the women and children in its ranks. Based in the northwestern Rwenzori Mountain region, along the border with Uganda, the militia is a “tightly controlled organization”, subsisting on illegal logging and gold mining as well as a “network of car and motorcycle taxis operating between Butembo, Beni and Oicha”, and “money transfers from London, Kenya and Uganda, which are collected through Congolese intermediaries in Beni and Butembo”, according to a UN Group of Experts report. Butembo, Beni and Oicha are in North Kivu Province” (IRIN, 2014).

In December:

Representatives from two countries will reflect on solutions to security issues between districts in South West Uganda and North Kivu Province. Among the Ugandan districts represented in these meetings, the same sources cite Rubirizi, Kisoro, Kanungu Rukingiri Bundibujo, Ntoroko and Kasese.

According to other security sources, for the past few days, there are already discussions and discussions between the FARDC and the Ugandan army to launch joint operations for the neutralization of Ugandan rebels of the ADF, active in the territory of Beni. In addition to members of the provincial government of North Kivu, some senior officers of the 34th military region, Operation Sokola 1 and the Congolese National Police represent the DRC at this bilateral meeting that will last four days” (Radio Okapi, 2017).

The Attack today:

The Congolese army (FARDC) claims to have killed 72 Ugandan rebels of the ADF during an attack on a MONUSCO peacekeepers’ base on Thursday, 7 December 2017 in Semuliki in the Beni territory (North Kivu). Contrary to Monusco’s assessment of five Congolese soldiers killed in the attack, Operation Sokola 1 North’s spokesman, Captain Mak Hazukay, speaks of a death in the ranks of the army. “This is the position of the Monusco that was attacked, we came in reinforcements (…) 72 ADF elements were killed and 1 soldier found death during the attack”, said to ACTUALITE.CD, Captain Mak Hazukay, spokesman for Operation Sokola 1 North in Beni” (Actualite.cd, 2017).

So after yesterdays attack, we can wonder if the Ugandan People’s Defense Force (UPDF) and FARDC will go after ADF. Like they have done with Lords Resistance Army (LRA) in Operation Lightning Thunder, the Garamba Offensive. It sent the LRA packing and got them to leave the territory of the DRC. But they were able to leave, so they are causing havoc instead in the Central African Republic.

We can wonder if they are planning something similar now with the ADF in the Kivu Provinces. To get rid of the 1,000 militants, who are robbing the FARDC and trading timber. Since Operation Sokola 1 haven’t been sufficient to target the ADF.

We can also wonder, since the Mbarara Sessions occurred at about the same time. It was just as it needs funds for new mobilizing and such. That the strike against MONUSCO. Just appeared as the neighbors wants to address the problems of the ADF. Like the military movements will come as even the returning soldiers in the UPDF from Somalia as well. It is just like everything is fitting like a glove for all parties involved. UPDF have extra soldiers used to combat in Somalia, while the Kivu’s is under fire and the FARDC needs support from not only peacekeepers, but serious military personnel who can actually fight the militants. It is just a perfect scenario for the leadership in Kinshasa and Kampala. While the Kivus’ are suffering in insecurity. Peace.

Reference:

Actualite.cd – ‘ RDC : 72 rebelles ADF tués lors de l’attaque contre les casques bleus à Beni selon les FARDC’ (08.12.2017) link: https://actualite.cd/2017/12/08/rdc-72-rebelles-adf-tues-lors-de-lattaque-contre-casques-bleus-a-beni-selon-fardc/

Global Security – ‘Allied Defense Force (ADF)’ (15.12.2016) link: https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/adf.htm

IRIN – ‘ADF-NALU militia in DRC’ (27.01.2014) link: http://www.irinnews.org/report/99538/briefing-adf-nalu-militia-drc

Radio Okapi – ‘La sécurité des districts frontaliers en discussion entre la RDC et l’Ouganda à Mbarara’ (08.12.2017) link: https://www.radiookapi.net/2017/12/08/actualite/societe/la-securite-des-districts-frontaliers-en-discussion-entre-la-rdc-et?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20radiookapi/actu%20%28Radiookapi.net%20-%20Actualit%C3%A9%29

United Nations Security Council – ‘Letter dated 12 January 2015 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo addressed to the President of the Security Council’ (12.01.2015) link.http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2015_19.pdf

Statement of the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union on the Attack on United Nations Peacekeepers and Congolese Soldiers in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (08.12.2017)

Addis Ababa, 8 December 2017: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has learned with shock of the heinous attack carried out yesterday night against the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and Congolese soldiers, in the North Kivu province. The attack resulted in the killing of 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers and 5 Congolese soldiers, while 53 members of the Mission were wounded.

The Chairperson of the Commission strongly condemns this abject attack. He conveys the African Union sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishes speedy recovery to the wounded. He expresses the African Union solidarity with the peoples and Governments of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as with MONUSCO and the entire United Nations family. He looks forward to speedy and concrete steps to identify the perpetrators of this crime and bring them to justice.

The Chairperson of the Commission commends MONUSCO for its vital role in the Democratic Repubic of Congo, particularly in the current context marked by preparations for the holding of the elections planned for December next year. In this respect, he underlines the need to avail MONUSCO all the support it needs to facilitate the discharge of its mandate.

North Kivu – Attack on MONUSCO troops at Semuliki, at least 14 Peacekeepers and 5 FARDC soldiers killed (08.12.2017)

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