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150 Church leaders side with MPs against age limit removal

Ugandan opposition legislators sing outside the Parliament building in Kampala, Uganda, Sept. 21, 2017, after a motion to amend the Constitution failed. They left Parliament singing and said every day the Constitution remains untouched is a win. Photo: VOA

A total of 150 Clerics under umbrella organisation Justice and Peace Network are up against changing Uganda’s constitution to lift the presidential age limit.

The Church leaders have during a press conference in the Capital, Kampala warned security officials against partisan politics, condemning recent violent attacks on citizens and siege of NGOs reportedly opposed to age limit.

Justice and Peace Network, which also shelters outspoken religious leader Rev Fr Gaetano used the presser to encouraged Ugandans to use all the possible means to protect the constitution and resist intimidation.

“As religious leaders we take side with MPs who have stood to their ground to oppose the alteration of the constitution,” Rev Fr Gaetano is quoted to have said by the Daily Monitor.

“We condemn the violent attacks on peaceful citizens and siege of NGOs opposed to age limit. We call upon the commanders of security forces to acknowledge that they have a duty to protect the sovereignty of the country but not to engage in partisan politics,” Rev Fr Gaetano added.

The group, according to Daily Monitor urged that religious leaders have a role to play in providing and safeguarding peace. Fr Gaetano challenged fellow clergy not to operate as state servants but as the keepers of the state pillars.

They also said Article 102 (b) of the constitution of Uganda is “only remaining essential organ” for the body.

“If you allow the removal of age limit you will have cut off of the head and eventually the country shall die. I want to tell MPs that Uganda is much bigger than us all. You swore to protect and defend the country and constitution and you must fulfill the allegiance,” they said.

Sources report that at least 70 people were arrested in Kampala following Monday to Thursday demonstrations against the proposed amendment of the constitution to lift presidential age limit.

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