Museveni finally outlaws presidential age limit

Yoweri Museveni

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has approved a controversial age limit bill which effectively allows him to  contest again for re-election until 2031.

Ugandan media reports say prior to Museveni’s assenting to the bill, the country’s Constitution barred anyone below 35 years and above 75 years from running for the presidency. Initially, Museveni, 73, was ineligible to run in the country’s forthcoming 2021 presidential elections.

On Tuesday Uganda’s Daily Monitor quoted presidential press secretary Linda Nabusayi as having confirmed that the president signed the bill into an Act of Parliament last week.

According to the newspaper, Museveni’s critics including the opposition and the clergy have since faulted Museveni of manipulating the rule of law to consolidate his life presidency ambitions. He has been in power since 1986. The Ugandan leader joins several other African leaders who have attempted to prolong their stay in power through unconstitutional means.

“If what has been passed by Parliament is not the view of the majority of the citizens, then let him not append his signature because it will later torture his conscience.”, Archbishop John Baptist Odama, chair of Uganda’s Episcopal Conference told Daily Monitor ahead of the signing.

Meanwhile in Zambia, President Edgar Lungu is also seeking to extend his stay in office as he fights a legal battle to enable him to run in the next Zambian Presidential elections. He is facing strong criticism from opposition parties who have branded him a wannabe dictator.

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