Leader of Uganda’s opposition party National Unity Platform (NUP), Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, has spoken out against the purported plan to scrap the two-term-presidential limit and cap the age limit for running for the seat at 75.
The plan by Fafi MP Salah Yakub, a UDA Party legislator, seeks to remove the two terms currently set for any president, arguing that it denies performing leaders an opportunity to further develop the nation.
“I, together with some of my fellow MPs, are planning to push a Bill in Parliament that contests the two terms of serving as president,” Yakub said during a relief food distribution drive in Garissa County over the weekend.
Yakub’s comments have caught the attention of Uganda’s opposition leader, who has termed them a ridiculous ploy to amend the constitution.
Bobi Wine said Uganda’s long-serving president, Yoweri Museveni, ended up at the helm of Kenya’s western neighbour for 36 years now using similar “schemes”.
“Dear Kenyans, be vigilant. Save your country from Musevenism. This may come off as a lone MP making a ridiculous suggestion, but this is how it starts. Exactly how Museveni began schemes to remove term and age limits. Defend your Constitution before it’s too weak to defend you!” Mr Kyaguanyi tweeted on Tuesday.
The President William Ruto-led UDA party has since distanced itself from Yakub’s claims that a bill to extend the presidential term limit was already being drafted.
UDA in a tweet on Tuesday dismissed the claims as “a product of the legislator’s fertile imagination.”
According to Yakub, a president’s terms should not be limited to two, three, or even four. He says “if the president is doing a good job, he should extend his term.”
The MP argued that the country cannot afford to “repeat the same mistake” as it did by having former President Mwai Kibaki, whom he described as a progressive leader, leave office.
“We do not want to repeat the same mistakes we did during Mwai Kibaki’s time. He left office without accomplishing all his programmes because of the Constitution which allowed him to serve for only two terms,” he said.
Kenya’s two-term limit went into effect ahead of the 1992 General Election.
According to Article 142 of the Constitution, the President shall hold office for a term beginning on the date of the inauguration and ending when the person next elected President is sworn in.
The 2010 constitution states that no person may serve as president for more than two terms.