Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The presidential term limits

On 2nd August 2014, panelists appeared on HITS FM to discuss the presidential term limits. This was during ToroDev’s supported live radio discussion called ‘Orukurato Program’, a 2hr weekly live radio discussion that discusses issues of accountability every Saturday (08:00 – 10:00) pm.  “How has Uganda been affected without presidential term limits? Do you agree with the Members of Parliament’s idea of amending the Ugandan Constitution to restore the Presidential term limits?” asked Kasigazi Willy Donanto, the moderator of the program.

President Museveni addresses the Ugandan Parliament
 The live radio discussion was attended by Mr. Davis Rwamuhumbu, a local citizen of Kabarole District, and Mr. Amanyira John Kasweta, the Chairperson of Committed Citizens for Better Services in Hakibaale Sub County, Kabarole District.

During the discussion, Mr. Rwamuhumbu gave a brief back ground of term limits. “In Africa, term limits started in the 1990’s. The Ugandan constitution had article 105 that indicated that any person elected twice under that arrangement was ineligible to contest again. However, on 30th September 2005, the seventh parliament   amended the constitution so as to hand President Museveni a third term in power. This was through a five million bribe that was given to Members of Parliament so as to pass the decision”.

Mr. Kasweta also participated in the live radio discussion by indicating the challenges of not having presidential term limits. “Uganda has been facing a lot of challenges because of not having presidential term limits. Some of these challenges include rigging of votes due to the need to stay in power, wide spread corruption that has led to poor service delivery, nepotism and segregation in the government and un effective distribution of resources”.

Local listeners also participated in the live radio discussion through call ins and using the SMS plat form to raise their issues and concerns. “We have been born in this regime and now, we are adults without seeing peaceful handover of power”, said a caller from Kabarole District, “It would be good if we restored the 1995 Uganda constitution and restore the presidential term limits”, said Steven from Mbarara District, “Term limits should be revived so that Uganda also experiences peaceful handover of power”, said Julius from Rwimi Town Council in Kabarole District, “The Ugandan president uses bribes to make Members of Parliament endorse for more presidential terms”, said Mayanja, “Term limits should be revived so as to fight the long spread corruption”, said Henry Mugisa.

The live radio discussion was moderated by Mr. Kasigazi Willy Donanto and is supported by SIDA/CIPESA and SPIDER/Stockholm University on a project aimed at using appropriate ICT tools to promote democratic engagement in the Rwenzori Region, Western Uganda.

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