Parliament has released Shs 29 million for each Member of Parliament to help them consult on the proposed ‘Age Limit’ bill in their respective constituencies.
Chris Obore, Parliament’s Director Communications and Public Affairs said that the Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige recieved 13 billion Shillings to cater for the consultations on the Constitutional (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2017.
The private member’s bill tabled by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi, seeks to among others amend Article 102 (b) of the Constitution which caps the presidential age limit at 75 years. The bill is currently before parliament’s Legal Committee for consideration.
“Clerk to Parliament has found 13 billion Shillings. That money was picked from the mandatory emoluments for MPs to first enable them go and do the consultations.” said Obore.
With consultations already going on in a number of constituencies across the country, Obore said that the official period that has been allocated for consultations is 15 days starting on October 25 to November 8, 2017.
He added that the directive of the clerk is that each MP will be consulting in their constituency.
Two weeks ago, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga adjourned parliament to enable MPs consult widely on the controversial amendment.
With this directive, a number of MPs have been going on with the consultations even without the provision of this consultation money.
Legislators opposed to the removal of the presidential age limit have however rejected the money saying the funding is a form of manipulation that the NRM intends to use to legitimize the age limit removal.
The MPs from both the ruling party and the opposition noted that they have been consulting about other bills brought before parliament yet no special money was provided.
These questioned the Raphael Magyezi bill whose consideration is yet to start by paliament’s legal committee.
President Museveni could become the first direct beneficiary of the proposed amendment, should the upper age cap be removed.
At 73, the president is not eligible for re-election in 2021 as he will be above 75 years.
In 2005, as the government pushed for the constitutional amendment to remove presidential term limits, some legislators were given Shs 5 million five million for consultations in the constituencies.