By Stephen Bwire
The current talk blaring on airwaves, social media, print and broadcasting media as well as public spaces is dominated by the Constitutional Amendment with particular interest in Article 102 (b) on Presidential Age-Limit. Another contentious issue which is up for amendment in the 1995 Constitution is the proposal to amend Article 26 on “compulsory acquisition of land” for expeditious public infrastructural development.
A number of politicians, academics, media practitioners, civil society groups, members of the public, etc, are shouting themselves hoarse on how the constitution is being “raped” at the whims of “one man who is interested in dying in power,” and/or “manipulating the law to grab people’s land.”
The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Hon. Betty Amongi, has written a treatise which has been widely published in all media spaces explaining the import of constitutional amendment of Article 26 on “compulsory land acquisition for development.”
The Minister has placed everything in proper context explaining that the proposed land amendment bill is to foster speedy and adequate compensation of persons whose land is being considered for public works, as well as saving Government huge loss of money and time that would accrue from delayed contracts.
On the contentious issue of Article 102 (b) on presidential age limits, President Yoweri Museveni has lashed out at the political actors, mainly members of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) who are engaged in “premature electioneering” as if they have nothing else to do!
Those who are funning debate on removal of age limits from the Constitution are doing so for their selfish schemes, apparently, as the President has explained to Ugandans, nobody has sent anyone to talk about removal of age limits from the Constitution!
A lot of time is being devoted to political talk, which talk is non-productive at all. Instead of expending too much time, energy and resources on political polemics, people should instead focus on productive work for income generation. In most of the urban centres and small towns, it’s commonplace finding young people shouting themselves stupid on how “Museveni intends to die in power,” or how “Museveni has made people poor” and at the end of the day they go back to their homes yawning! We are simply talking ourselves to poverty!
We should redirect our talk and debate to jobs and wealth creation. The politicians and civil society activists would benefit from this talk because it’s sponsored by NGOs, but what about millions of young people who are unemployed, hungry and poor? Let’s get to work and shun meaningless political talk. We shan’t eat politics!
The writer is the Editor of NRM leaning newspaper The Public Lens