By Mary Kisakye
KISORO–A meeting that had been called by State minister for Regional Cooperation Dr Philemon Mateke to drum up support for the amendment of Article 102 (b) of the Constitution to scrap presidential age limits in Kisoro district turned rowdy when residents decided to walk out on the minister.
The infuriated residents said they had been told that the meeting was meant to address governance-related issues and not the contentious age limit bill.
Dr Mateke is one of the most influential politicians in the region.The meeting convened at the district council hall in Kosoro town attracted local council and NRM leaders.
The meeting, however, nosedived when the minister introduced the topic of amending Article 102(b) to lift the constitutional age limit on presidential candidates.
He told participants that Ugandans still need President Museveni who he described as irreplaceable.
At this point, some participants got angry and started heckling the minister, before a section of them walked out in protest. Mateke’s attempts to restore calm at the meeting were futile and he decided to call it off.
Kisoro has in the past been an NRM stronghold and President Museveni has also won the district overwhelmingly. Dr Mateke is the most influential politician in the area and many say it is his influence in the area that earned him a ministerial position.
In Kisoro, MPs like Sam Bitangaro and Dr James Nsaba Buturo, who in the past lost elections for sticking to unpopular policies, have been apparently treading carefully about the age limit issue. So far in the district, MP John Kamara of Bufumbira North has openly expressed support for the amendment.