Age Limit Bill: MP Magyezi Storms Out of Committee Top story

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In short
Efforts by Oboth-Oboth to calm down the situation didnt yield results as the Committee members insisted that Magyezi respects the committee. At this point, Magyezi dropped his submission before Oboth and walked out.

Igara West MP, Raphael Magyezi has stormed out of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee vowing not to return. The Committee has started conducting public hearings on the Constitutional (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2017, which was tabled before parliament by Magyezi.

The Committee led by its chair Jacob Oboth-Oboth, the West Budama MP, invited Magyezi  together with Jackson Kafuuzi, the Kyaka South MP and Jinja West MP, Moses Balyeku who seconded the bill, to make their submissions. The Constitutional (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2017 seeks among other things to scrap Article 102(b) of the Constitution, which caps the president's age at 75 years.

On Tuesday afternoon, Magyezi appeared before the Committee together with his seconders. During the hearing, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the Opposition Chief Whip tasked Magyezi to provide documentary evidence showing when he was granted leave of parliament to prepare the bill, when the gazette was made and when the Certificate of financial implication was issued.

In his response, Magyezi said the Constitutional (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill was gazetted on September 28th, 2017 and the certificate of financial implication issued on the same date. He tabled the gazetted bill and certificate of financial implication issued by the Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija to back his submission.
 
Ssemujju asked Magyezi to explain how it was possible to gazette the bill and also get a certificate of financial implication on the same day. In his response, Magyezi noted that the responsibility of printing and gazetting bills lies with the Clerk to Parliament as provide for under Rule 112. 

As a result, Ssemujju tasked Magyezi to produce evidence showing that he made a request for the certificate of financial implication in vain.
 
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The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee Chairperson, Jacob Oboth-Oboth ruled that they will invite the Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige and Finance Minister Matia Kasaija to explain the documents. 

However, the Committee members opposed to the bill including Medard Lubega Sseggona, Mathias Mpuuga, Muhammad Nsereko and Monica Amoding among others insisted that the committee addresses itself to the process that so the bill referred to the committee.

Oboth-Oboth said that this would be done at a later stage. He allowed Magyezi to proceed with his presentation after taking an oath.
 
 
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However, the Committee members repeatedly raised procedural matters that were ignored by Oboth. This prompted Monica Amoding, the Kumi Woman MP and her Busiro East counterpart, Medard Lubega Sseggona to walk and switch off Magyezi's microphone, saying he should respect the committee.

 
Efforts by Oboth-Oboth to calm down the situation didn't yield results as the Committee members insisted that Magyezi respects the committee. At this point, Magyezi dropped his submission before Oboth and walked out. He was followed by his two seconders. Oboth said the Committee will invite Magyezi another time to present his submission.
 
 
The Committee also blocked the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Kahinda Otafire from making his submission on grounds that he had presented unsigned documents. Although Otafiire owned the unsigned document, saying he didn't want to append his signature, the MPs collected them and handed them back to him.

 
The Committee chair decided to dismiss Otafiire, saying he will invite him at a later date. Shortly after storming out of parliament, he will is considering taking back the bill to the house. He claimed that what transpired in the committee is a continuation of what happened in the house when he presented the bill in the house.
 

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Rule 15 of the rules of procedure states that "Any member may, with consent of the Speaker, move that any rule be suspended in its application to a particular motion before the house and if a motion is carried, the rule in question shall be suspended".

 
Whenever a bill is read for the first time in the house, it is referred to the appropriate committee appointed. He says the speaker will now take charge of the bill since the committee has frustrated it, adding that he had done his part.