Professor Venansius Baryamureeba, presidential aspirant has said that term limits is one way of changing leadership at top in many African countries Uganda inclusive where it is very hard for incumbents to lose elections.
“Term limits prevent incumbents from using the benefits of office to remain in power indefinitely. In some situations, merely being in office provides an elected official with a distinct advantage in future elections… means that incumbents no longer fear losing their offices and cease to be concerned with the needs of their constituents. Term limits ensure that all officials are eventually removed from power,” Barya said in a fine articulated post on his Facebook timeline.
Barya also noted that term limits are hurtful since constitutional clauses confining a leader to serve for a specified duration take(s) away the right of voters to be served by the politician of their choice.
“Some scholars have actually argued that if the public wishes to re-elect their leader, it is undemocratic to prevent them from doing so no matter how long this leader has already served,” he added that; “Term limits result in a lack of experienced politicians since with experience, comes greater skill.”
Summing up the debate, Prof Barya asserted that disadvantages to term limits pale in comparison to the advantages, “Without term limits, time will not weed out the treacherous and vile and the overall society will suffer.”
His comments come at a time when term limits debate is gaining momentum in East Africa.
In Uganda term limit clause was eliminated from the constitution in 2005.
However, opposition politicians are pushing for presidential term limits to be reinstated in the constitution.
In Rwanda, the debate is raging whether constitution should be amended to allow President Paul Kagame to stand for a third term when his second term expires in 2017.
In Burundi, protesters have been on Bujumbura streets since April demanding President Pierre Nkurunziza to abandon his third term bid.
On 13 May, a coup that later failed was announced in Burundi led by Maj. Gen. Godefroid Niyombare, while President Nkurunziza was in Tanzania attending an emergency conference about the political crisis in the country.