75-year age limit is easy to remove

In Summary

• The Fafi MP wants the two-term presidential limit replaced with an age limit of 75 years

• In Uganda presidential term limits were removed in 2005 and then the age limit of 75 years in 2017

Fafi MP Salah Yakub has caused a storm by proposing that the two-term Presidential limit in the Constitution be replaced with an age limit of 75 years.

Multiple commentators have condemned the proposal to lift term limits for the President. Even Johnston Muthama, the chairman of Yakub's own UDA party, has condemned the idea.

However there has been relatively little criticism of the age limit even though this is as invidious as the proposal to lift the two-term limit. Firstly, someone over 75 years old can still do a good job. Raila Odinga was 77 years old when he contested this year's presidential election. Mwai Kibaki was 76 years old during the 2007 presidential election. 

Secondly, it is easy to remove the age limit once you have lifted term limits (look at Uganda where term limits were removed in 2005 and the age limit in 2017). It is obviously inequitable to exclude people over 75 years from office so it is easy to get rid of it.

So Yakub's proposal would lead to a life president. Does Kenya need that after the Second Liberation activists fought so hard to restore democratic politics after the long oppressive rule of President Daniel arap Moi?

Quote of the day: "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."

Soren Kierkegaard
The Danish philosopher died on 11 November, 1855

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