Uganda’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party has distanced itself from ongoing plans to propose a Bill that extends the term of office for its leaders.
Mary Karooro Okurut, the NRM spokesperson on Sunday stated that the party is not the one moving the motion because they do not want to extend their mandate.
Nakifuma County MP Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko late last month came out to say there is need to extend terms of office for all leaders starting with the President to the local councillors. The plan was to introduce the bill and present before Parliament as the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council Extension Bill 2014.
But Karooro, the minister for Gender says the NRM would never support the Bill however, they cannot oppose it if it is brought as a private members Bill.
The proposed Bill states that Uganda is currently undergoing a new democratic path to make it a better country from where it is now. The Bill drafters argue that the political governance issues that are handled by Parliament and the executive are still weak hence a need to avail time to harmonise all existing loopholes in Uganda’s institutions.
Clause 2 of the Bill states that it shall extend all political leadership positions for the next five years effective February 2016 up to February 2021. The rationale is to avail time to harmonise all loopholes especially in regard to electoral reforms in order to cope with the current democratic and good governance structures.
Karooro says even though there are some challenges within some of the government institutions, postponing elections and extending terms in office is not the solution.
However, when contacted, the Nakifuma MP Ssekitoleko said that he is not the one pioneering the Bill. He says he was contacted by some members of the ruling NRM who initiated it and he gave his reasons for supporting it.
Ssekitoleko says if the NRM members are the ones abandoning their idea, then he will also do the same especially now that the party has stated its final position. Karooro says they will speak to those behind the Bill especially the NRM members and if they do not listen then the NRM will crack its whip on them.