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By Otto Patrick

Ugandans! We are muddleheaded scatterbrains and here is why:

Ours is a history of instability, a history characterised by changing presidents like shirts. Look here: 1962-1966, Mutesa deposed at 41 yrs of age after serving for 0.4 of a theoretical 2 term limit. Was he deposed because he had resisted calls to report to a pensioners' home or exceeded his term?

1966-1971: Obote deposed at 46 yrs after serving 0.5 of a hypothetical 2 terms.

1971-1979: Amin deposed at 54 yrs. Lule did 2 months and fell at  67 yrs.

Binaisa had a year and was deposed at 60yrs; Obote was deposed the 2nd time at age 60.

Lutwa served a few months and fell at 72.

That went on and on until, by 1986 we had had enough presidencies to have lasted upto 2042!

And arguably, we have by far not yet outgrown the same tendencies that bred and sustained that instability, even as we take the current lull in our hysteria for granted.

Now I ask: When, in that bloody turmoil, was age limit or term limits ever the trigger or driver of our madness, so much so, that they had to be crafted into the constitution? Who of those presidents was overthrown because he had refused to enrol at the nearest sanatorium? We are now wasting time with maintaining age limits as though we are being stalked by semi-embalmed octogenarians who are jostling to lord it over us! Sikiliza hapa: our life expectancy is a mere 58 yrs and we have the lowest number of persons over the age of 65 yrs in the world! Over 65s are only about 2% of us. How then do 75 yrs become such a concern that we should include a fatwa clause for them in the law of the land? Are we not like two bold-headed drunks fighting for a comb?

Look even at the random harvest of individuals who had crafted term limits. Were they CA? Sasa: you are presented with a patient whose problem is recurring miscarriages: 9 pregnancies in first 25 yrs all of them ending before full term. And the midwife called CA eagerly dashes to the pharmacies to scrounge for a labour inducing medication called "term limits"! But the problem you have is miscarriage. Your patient's obstetric history shows that she never reaches labour! How does inducing labour become your concern? Are you really ok? What you need is a medication to sustain the pregnancy, to sooth/heal the womb! You need stability and continuity (progesterone) and not to unduly excite the womb (pitocin). The Banyakitara have such names as "Katuramu", the child that overstays in the womb; or "Kakuliiremu", the one who by far exceeds the 9 month limit that she is born with milk teeth. Now, given our obstetric history, our choice is clearly between a Katuramu/Kakuliremu and cuddling banana fibre dolls!  

But where do we keep our brains?

Allaah gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him."And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things." (6:17)

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