Age limit: Anti-Museveni protestors granted bail

Age limit: Anti-Museveni protestors granted bail
President Yoweri Museveni

Court in Mbarara has granted bail to three youth activists, who, early this month staged a mock funeral for President Yoweri Museveni.

The suspects; 20-year-old Albert Nangumya, a student at Bishop Stuart University, Rodgers Asiimwe, 26, and 32-year-old Maxi Muhumuza, the spokesperson of the defunct Ankole kingdom were released by Mbarara Grade One Magistrate Sanyu Mukasa.

They were each bonded at Shs 1.5 million cash while their sureties were bonded at Shs 1 million non-cash. The hearing of the case will resume next month on August 11.

While appearing before court on July 20, the suspects applied for bail through their lawyer, Wilson Agaba of Agaba and Company Advocates, saying it was their constitutional right.

However, the magistrate deferred the bail application hearing to today and sent them back to Kyamugoranyi government prison.

Today, the suspects were back in court for their bail application hearing. Rodgers Asiimwe presented three sureties including his father, Gershom Mugisha. Others were Abias Niwamanya, and Mike Ayesigye, a pastor based in Mbarara.

Prosecution told court that on July 6, 2017, while in Mbarara district, the suspects led a procession with a coffin with an inscription “Rest in Peace Museveni,” together with the portrait of President Museveni, the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, General Kahinda Otafiire and several Members of Parliament.

The suspects took to the streets to protest against attempts by government to amend Article 102(b) of the 1995 Constitution, which puts a ceiling on the age of the person holding the office of the president at 75 years.

The protest came at the backdrop of reports that a section of National Resistance Movement (NRM) party members has mooted a plan to amend the constitution to allow President Museveni to contest for the presidency in 2021.

Under the current provision in Article 102(b), President Museveni would be above 75 years and therefore ineligible to contest for the seat. Born in 1944 and in power since 1986, Museveni will be clocking 77 in 2021.