Abim district council has assented to the removal of the presidential age limit cap from the constitution amid protests from sections of community members.
In a decision arrived at during the consultation meetings with the members of parliament from the district, majority of the Councillors said they were comfortable with the proposed amendment of Article 102(b) of the constitution which bars anyone above 75 years or below 35 years from becoming president of Uganda.
Out of eleven Councillors in the district, only Abraham Kitacho, the Abim town council Councillor and the district speaker, Godfrey Omara, rejected the proposed amendment. The position of the district chairperson Jimmy Ochero is, however, yet to be revealed since he has reportedly been out of the country since the consultations commenced.
According to reports in the district, the position of the Councillors has triggered mixed reactions with sections of youths threatening to beat up some of them. The youth claim the decision was arrived at after the Councillors received bribes.
Akeno Akendo, one of the youth in the district blames the MPs for campaigning and coercing people to assent to the amendment.
“Today our two MPs were at a consultative meeting in Nyakwae for the controversial age limit bill. It was rather a campaign not consultation since the MPs talked about the achievements of the NRM government other than telling the truth to the community,” Akeno wrote on his Facebook page.
But Michael Ayepa, the Labwor county MP says the consultations were done according to the guidelines given in parliament. He notes that the Councillors and other people are willing in support of the amendment.
Simon Peter Olum, a member of the opposition in the district, urged MPs to be objective while consulting with the electorate. He notes that consultations are different from campaigns, appealing to MPs to stop what he described as lies to popularise the bill.
Several MPs in Karamoja sub-region have finally started the consultations in the villages, leaving most of urban areas for later dates.