Makerere law lecturers reject invitation to parliament over age bill

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Makerere University law lecturers have rejected an invitation by Parliament's Legal Committee for the age limit amendment bill discussion.

The lecturers are in open revolt against the Legal And Parliamentary Affairs committee from going ahead with hearings on the controversial bill.

The private member's bill tabled by Igara East MP, Raphael Magyezi seeks to delete article 102(b) of the constitution which caps the age of president candidate between 35 and 75.

The lecturers in a 23rd October letter to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee Chairman, Jacob Oboth-Oboth said they will not appear to have their input to the bill.

They say their appearance before the committee would be provide credence to the bill whose "legitimacy and legality are completely untenable and demonstrably unfounded."

The letter is signed by 21 law lecturers including Dr. Christopher Mbaziira, Prof Joel Oloka Onyango, Dr. Businge Kakumba and Ms Adoch Caroline instead asked the committee to disassociate itself from the constitution amendment process.

"We would thus strongly urge your committee to disassociate itself from a process which seeks to unravel the democratic pillars and principles constructed by framers of the 1995 Constitution…we therefore regret that we cannot be party to such a process and respectfully declines your invitation," read the letter.

They advised the committee to carefully reflect on the constitutional and political ramifications of engaging in a process that they say is tainted with a patent distortion of our constitutional order.

The letter is a response to an invitation by the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament asking Makerere law lecturers to share their views with the committee on the proposed amendments.

The law dons assert that the bill "stands in the way of the first peaceful transfer of presidential power since the attainment of independence in 1962. They are of the view that the Magyezi bill violates all the principles of a constitutional democracy and particularly, the twin doctrines of the rule of law and the separation of powers"

They said their position on the bill had been stated earlier.

In a statement issued on October 3rd, the law dons asked parliament to shelve Magyezi's constitutional amendment bill.

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