By Najib Mulema
Religious Leaders under their umbrella body, the Inter- Religious Council (IRC) have urged government to handle the issue of changing the parliamentary and presidential terms from five to seven years separately since it was not part of the terms of reference of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.
The clergy made the remarks during the lunch of Pastoral letter at the council headquarters in Kampala on Wednesday.
The Pastoral letter addresses the current debate on the constitutional amendment to remove age limit as a condition for a presidential candidate and extension of the presidential and parliamentary term of office from five to seven years.
The council chairperson also Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Mubajje revealed that since the term limit is an entrenched article in the constitution, government should carry out a national referendum.
“We are of the view that the question of changing the presidential and parliamentary terms from five to seven years be handled separately as it was not part of the terms of reference of the legal and parliamentary Affairs committee,” noted Sheikh Mubajje.
Speaking at the same event, Pastor Joseph Serwadda, the Presiding Apostle of Born Again faith in Uganda said the Pastoral Letter guides and advises on how the amendment of such an important part of the constitution should be managed.
“Our position is that a more transparent process be carried with clear terms of reference and mutually accepted approach and methodologies. It is such a credible process that should truly reflect the ‘people’s power’ as per Article 1 of the constitution,” said Pastor Serwadda.
“The pastoral letter also contains our recommendation that the country needs a national dialogue to discuss various gorvenance challenges that have plagued the country and are likely to impact on the country’s future,” he added.
In order to ensure effective communication, Mr. Joshua Kitakule, the IRC Secretary General indicated that the Pastoral letter will be translated into six local languages namely; Luo, Lugbara, Itesot, Luganda, Runyoro and Rutooro.
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