Police disperse anti-Presidential age limit protesters in Pader

Police disperse anti-Presidential age limit protesters in Pader
Police fired tear gas canisters and bullets to disperse the demonstrating crowds.

Uganda Police has fired bullets and tear gas at a group of demonstrators in Pader town protesting the proposed scrapping of the Presidential age limit from the constitution.

The protesters had set fire to old car tyres and wooden logs before Police rushed to disperse them. The protesters held placards with various writings calling on Parliament to resist the temptation of amending the constitution.

Alfred Akena, the former Pader District Chairperson says the protest turned rowdy after Police declared their procession illegal, saying it had been cleared by police. He says the standoff lasted for hours forcing police to open fire at the protesters.

Jacky Akello, an eye witnesses says the protesters wore red ribbons on their foreheads as they advanced towards Pader Town. Businesses closed for fear of being caught in the chaos.

Akello says Police are maintaining heavy deployment in and around the town to prevent the protesters from regrouping. Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson, Patrick Jimmy Okema, says no arrests have been made in connection to the protest.

He says those intending to demonstrate must first seek Police clearance in accordance with the Public Order and Management Act. It is the first scene of protest in Acholi Sub Region targeted against the expected amendment of Article 102 (b) of the Constitution, which caps the presidential age at 75 years.

Majority of Members of Parliament from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) Party want the article amended to allow President Museveni run for another term of office when his term expires in 2021.

The move has drawn mixed reactions in various parts of the country including Lira, Nakasongola, Mbale, Kabale and Kampala among others.