I’m still consulting on age limit, says Nantaba
State Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Idah Nantaba has said she is yet to have a position on the now acrimonious proposal to lift the presidential age limit.Speaking to CBS FM’s Alex Nsubuga, Nantaba, the Woman member of parliament for Kayunga district said it is wrong for cabinet to impose decisions on them yet they have people they represent.“Have you heard that parliament has told us to stop consulting people? I’m a minister and also a member of parliament; so, I have to be in the field like other [ministers] Don’t you see [Godfrey] Kiwanda in the field; why is he consulting yet he is a minister?” Nantaba said.Minister Idah Nantaba (L) says it is wrong for cabinet to impose decisions on them A week Ago, Nantaba and Amos Lugoloobi both MPs from Kayunga, were forced by their people to don a red ribbon that has come to symbolize the resistance to amend the constitution if when passed will clear the way for President Museveni who will be 76 in 2021 to contest the presidency again.Nantaba said the reason parliament gave each MP Shs 29 million was to allow them consult. So, parliament’s decision takes precedent over cabinet. “It is not cabinet that has the final say on the bill; that is why it was taken to parliament. In cabinet, we don’t vote; the vote is done in parliament and it is the same parliament that told us to go and consult. Whoever says that this issue will end in cabinet is mad,” Nantaba said.She lashed out at the NRM chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa who criticized her for going against a cabinet position that all ministers should embrace the bill.“The speaker would have said that because as cabinet we had already decided on the matter; we shouldn’t have to go back to the people,” Nantaba said. “Why did Nankabirwa go to Kiboga to consult yet cabinet had already decided on the matter? Before she attacks Nantaba, she should first explain why she went to Kiboga.”As an independent, the controversial MP who cut her niche while state minister of lands added that she is also not bound by any NRM organ’s decision like the Central Executive Committee on the bill.“My people voted me as an independent candidate. I’m not a member of the NRM,” Nantaba said.For his part, Amos Lugoloobi, the MP Ntenjeru North said the police wants to get in the way of his consultations by arresting people under the pretext that tey participated in violence recently as groups opposed and those in favor supported by the Kayunga NRM chairperson Moses Karangwa clashed.“The purpose of consultations is to understand what the people are saying and then you deliver what they have told you to deliver,” Lugoloobi said.Some people are trying to use the police to eat from the process. They are using the clash that happened in Kayunga recently to arrest over 50 people. We talked to police but they remained adamant; so, we had to go to the police headquarters in Kampala to secure their release. This kind of intimidation complicates consultations as people get scared that when they attend they get arrested,” Lugoloobi said.While officiating at a thanksgiving ceremony of Bukomansimbi North MP Ruth Katushabe, speaker Rebecca Kadaga said that police should stop interfering with MPs who are consulting.“I’m going to call the minister of internal affairs together with the inspector general of police because this consultation is on behalf of the people of Uganda,” Kadaga said adding, “Members must be allowed to consult throughout the country.”A private member’s bill moved by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi has sharply divided the country with the overwhelming majority of those who have spoken out saying it is bad for the country to amend the constitution to extend Museveni’s 35 years hold on to power to 40 years.Voices from the opposition, religious and civic leaders have all implored the MPs to reject the bill.