Uganda’s opposition vow to continue with joint consultation

Uganda's opposition vow to continue with joint consultation
Some of the opposition legislators duSome of the opposition legislators during a press conference today. Courtesy Photo.ring a press conference today. Courtesy Photo.

Opposition Members of Parliament have vowed to continue with their joint consultation programmes despite an order from Police stopping them.

The Director of Operations in the Uganda Police Force, Asuman Mugyenyi, yesterday issued a statement restraining Members of Parliament from conducting consultations on the presidential age limit in constituencies other than their own.

His statement came after police fired teargas and live bullets at a consultative meeting organised by Rubaga North MP Moses kasibante at Kasubi.

While addressing the media today at Parliament, Opposition Leader in Parliament, Winnie Kiiza, stated that the opposition cannot be stopped by a political order from the Police, noting that the Police should work for Ugandans and not for President Museveni.

Kiiza also condemned the police order as stupid and illegal.

Butambala County MP Muwanga Kivumbi says the Government cannot fight an idea whose time has come and that the ordinary role of an MP is a political one which cannot be restricted by Police. He said Police should be careful not to be partisan as they are meant to serve whatever Government that will come up and not an individual.

Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante, said Police attacks on law abiding Ugandans is an act of cowardice. He says although the MPs went through all the processes, the Police is still working on frustrating their constitutional role.

Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the Opposition Chief Whip noted that Police has no basis of stopping them from holding consultations. “We do not take orders from police, we only respect the law,” he said.

The Opposition will hold a join consultative meeting on Thursday in Kyengera in Busiro East and Natete in Rubaga South.
The MPs are consulting in regards to plans by the ruling NRM party to repeal Article 102(b) of the constitution that put a cap of 75 years on the presidential age.

A private member’s bill pushing for the removal of age limits is now before the Legal Affairs committee of parliament for scrutiny. President Museveni, who stands to directly benefit from the proposed amendment, told a party caucus meeting on Friday that he fully in supported the bill tabled by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi.

At 73 this year, the current law bars Museveni from contesting again in 2021 when he will have surpassed the age cap.