Youth leaders in Bundibugyo have voted in favour of amending the constitution to remove the presidential age limit cap. Under the current constitution, no persons below the ages of 35 and above 75 years are allowed to contest for presidency.
At a consultative meeting organised by Western Youth MP Mwine Mpaka in the Rwenzori region, out of the 56 youth leaders who attended, 35 voted in favour of removing the age limit, 15 against while six abstained.
The youth leaders, were however concerned about the increasing levels of unemployment in the Rwenzori region.
The youth leaders said that there is lack of government will to create employment for the youth. Moses Agaba, the youth chairperson Bundibugyo district said that many educated youths in the region have resorted to petty businesses to earn a living while others have resorted to gambling.
Agaba told Mpaka, that if youth unemployment is not addressed, it could drive crime to unmanageable levels. He cited the 2015 clashes in Bundibugyo district where many youths were lured into joining attackers.
"The issue of age is not their main concern, I think the youth... their main issue is with the regime of government that it has not done enough. It is trying but I think they think that it has not done enough…but I think people don’t understand the problem. They want to talk to the youth not with the youth. The problem is with who is going to benefit [from the age limit removal]", he said.
Charles Mujungu, the secretary of Ntoroko district youth council said that the government should stop prioritizing the age limit bill and address important issues that are affecting the youth.
He said that small-scale industries should be established in the region to cater for the needs of the youth. He added that the pledges made by President Museveni to the youth in his previous campaigns should be fulfilled. Mujungu cited the construction of youth centres in all districts in the Rwenzori region.
However, Mpaka told the youth to appreciate the president's contribution to the youth. He cited the Youth Livelihood Program and Operation Wealth Creation.