By Watchdog reporter

Religious leaders under their umbrella body, the Inter-Religious Council (IRC) have urged government to conduct a referendum in case it wants to scrap off the age limit.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, the religious leaders said age limit is not a partisan issue to be monopolized by the ruling party (NRM) and opposition politicians citing that the debate should be extended to the general public.

“The issue is national in character and the debate should be extended to the people of Uganda, as they are the sole constitutionally-mandated custodians of power to determine the destiny of our nation. The “people’s power” is unequivocally bestowed upon them in Article 1of the constitution (1995),” said Sheikh Shaban Mubajje, Chairman IRC.

According to Sheikh Mubajje, the constitution was written under the memory of Uganda’s history, characterized by political and constitutional instability; in recognition of struggles against forces of tyranny, oppression and exploitation thus it doesn’t need to be disrupted by a smaller group of people unless when it’s through a referendum.

“Though not an entrenched constitutional provision, we would like to counsel that the matter is so critical that it warrants the attention of all the citizens via a national Dialogue or referendum. It is significant to note that people have divergent views on the matter , hence need to soberly listen to all sides without favouring one side and intimidating the other,” he urged.

Further, the religious leaders advised MPs pushing for the removal of age limit to first seek advice and opinions from their constituents.

Last week on Tuesday, 245 MPs belonging to NRM passed a motion to table a private members bill aiming at lifting the age limit which shall see president Yoweri Museveni rule beyond 75 years of age.

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