All the provisions in the constitution were debated and agreed upon by the constituent assembly, according to the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda.
Rugunda’s submission contradicts claims by Richard Todwong, the deputy NRM secretary general last week that Article 102(b), which restricts the president’s age to between 35 and 75 years was smuggled into the Constitution.
“The existence of Article 102 (b) in the Constitution is unfortunate, because it was clearly not the wish of the majority Hon. Members of the Constituent Assembly,” said Todwong in a statement to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee last week.
When tasked about the NRM party stand on article 102 (b) to which he belongs, Rugunda said he respects people’s views even if they vary from his.
“Uganda like many democracies has given the people, through Article 1 of the Constitution, the power to elect their leaders through regular free and fair elections. The issue of Presidential election should be left to the people to decide.” said Rugunda.
The opposition chief whip, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda tasked Rugunda to explain whether government wants to amend the Constitution to remove all qualifications.
The Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko asked Rugunda to tell the committee whether Article 102(b) is a discriminatory or a limitation clause and also come out clearly on whether all the academic qualifications requirements set in the Constitution should be scrapped to allow all people to seek election to different offices.
In his response, Rugunda insisted that it would be unfair to stop anybody of a particular age to stand for the office of the President.