A group of Ugandan rebel MPs have filed a notice for a new motion seeking permission to introduce a private members’ Bill on President Yoweri Museveni’s retirement.
The proposed law— titled “The Museveni Succession, Transition and Immunities Bill, 2017”— is being championed by Dr Sam Lyomoki (MP representing workers).
The new motion, according to a September 22 letter to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, is moved under Rules 110 and 111 of the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure.
A copy of the motion was also sent to the Office of the Government Chief Whip.
Although the proposed Bill appears to be a strategic response to the critics of Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi motion that seeks to amend Article 102 (b) to remove the presidential age limit cap, sources told Daily Monitor that the import of the Bill is to back the motion, urging government to institute a Constitution Review Commission.
The opposition leaders have unswervingly accused their ruling party colleagues of pushing the amendment in order to give Mr Museveni, 73, leeway to contest in the 2021 General Election.
They have also supported the National Resistance Movement MPs who are calling for wider constitutional reforms ahead of 2021 polls.
Other MPs behind the motion are Patrick Nsamba Oshabe (Kasanda North), Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (Kasambya), John Baptist Nambeshe (Manjiya), Monicah Amoding (Kumi Woman) and Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo.
Addressing a news conference in Parliament, Dr Lyomoki, who has been assigned to move the motion next week, explained that it seeks to counter those who have been claiming that Parliament is not interested in answering the lingering transition question.
He asked other lawmakers to support their Bill which he said is in public interest.
“Some people are trying to argue that Parliament is not interested in discussion succession… we are bringing this Bill because our President has been exceptional and we want him to retire peacefully,” Mr Sam Lyomoki said.
The Dr Lyomoki Bill seeks to streamline the transition from one president to another and spell out the benefits of a retired president.
The Bill, according to sources, also serves to extend the frontiers in the quest for broader constitutional reforms and in accordance with Speaker’s guidance.
However, the benefits of a retired president are contained in The Emoluments and Benefits of the President, Vice President and Prime Minister Act 2009.
Other details in Dr Lwomoki’s motion are not yet clear.
Other NRN MPs, especially the architects of the Magyezi motion, have vowed to block the two motions (the one urging government to institute a Constitution Review Commission and the Dr Lwomoki motion on President Museveni’s retirement).
Their view is that the two motions are being peddled ‘in bad faith’ and should therefore be blocked in public interest.
On Thursday, Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, who presided over the House, guided that he and Speaker Rebecca Kadaga conferred on age limit debate in the country but decided that they needed more time to understand the two notices of motion and other notices.
But as the principals mull over the two notices, more notices continue to trickle as the House prepares to debate the proposed amendment to article 102b.