Mao’s statement comes after the prime minister recently publicly supported moves to lift presidential age limit.
“I see nothing that provides a scientific or rational reason that somebody who is above 75 years cannot be president,” the Prime Minister is quoted by the Observer as having said.
‘ ‘I understand Prime minister Ndugu Rugunda, his salary depends on saying what he said whether he believes in it or not. He now joins the papyrus clan…’’ Mao tweeted on Sunday.
According to the Observer, Rugunda recently meet with the youth campaigners allied to NRM and the National Youth Council (NYC) structures plotting for removal age limit for presidential candidates.
The group is working under a loose coalition named Kick Age Limitations out of the Constitution (KALOC) and are holding meetings with a number of top government and NRM party officials.
The group met Rugunda on August 31 at his office at the Twin Towers building, behind Parliament House. Rugunda reportedly agreed to support KALOC activities and is also reported to have told the youths that the age limit clause enshrined in Article 102(b) of the Constitution has no scientific basis.
“As a medical doctor, I have not come across any scientific research that shows that someone below 35 years or above 75 years lacks the capacity to lead. Those are unscientific barriers, leaders should be judged by their continued capacity to advance the socio-economic development,” Rugunda reportedly told the youths.
Article 102(b) states that a person is not qualified for election as president unless that person is “not less than thirty-five years and not more than seventy-five years of age.”
Specifically, Article 102 (b) states that a person is not qualified for election as president of Uganda if he or she is “less than thirty-five years and or more than seventy-five years of age.”
Museveni, who turns 73 later this year, will be 76 by 2021 and thus ineligible to stand for president under the constitution as it is today.
Rugunda says that the age limit should not bar anybody from offering themselves for the presidency, saying it gives Ugandans the freedom to elect leaders of their choice.
“A society should select or choose leaders on the basis of the challenges facing the country and leaders should be selected in response to how he [the leader] relates to the challenges and the solutions that he provides,” adding that the people of Uganda should therefore be at liberty to elect leaders of their choice in a free and fair elections.