The debate on Presidential Age limit today afternoon failed after Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanya adjourned the Parliament prematurely.
The Parliament has turned chaotic a scene that could be compared to the old days of primary debate or a football competition. The respected house turned chaotic making it difficult for one to be listened to.
While adjourning the sitting, Oulanya, who has been at the helm of presiding over controversial bills in Uganda, said the members of Parliament were not ready for any debate. The adjournment sent the opposition Parliamentarians into wild jubilation. The next session will be held on Tuesday afternoon next week.
Many of them tied red ribbon on their heart singing Leo ni Leo songs. This has dealt a blow to the NRM party making the opposition members efforts to work in mobilizing the voters across the country to reject lifting of the age limit.
Outside Parliament, the situation was tense as UPDF soldiers and policemen were heavily deployed to quell any chaotic members of Parliament or the students of Makerere University. On Wednesday, the Obongi County MP, Mr Hassan Kaps Fugaroo, said they had mobilized even MPs from NRM to reject the amendment.
MP Fungaroo addressing the media in Arua town. All photos by Felix
“Even the members of NRM are not ready to have this tabled and passed only that some are just fearful to come out openly to oppose it. So we shall continue to mobilise and see that this Age Limit is not passed because there are many competent Ugandans who can become President are in this country,” he said.
On Thursday morning, one of the youths, Muzamil Hashim was arrested on the streets of Arua during a demonstration against the same. Hundreds of youths also took to the streets before they could be dispersed by the police.
During Museveni’s regime, it has seen the successful removal of term limit after the MPs were bribed with Shs 5 million each in 2005. Now during the same regime, MPs Evelyne Anite (Koboko Municipality) and Ibrahim Abiriga of Arua Municipality have been at forefront to make history in pushing for the removal of Age Limit for Presidency at 75.
Denis Edema, the youth leader, leading demonstrators on Arua streets today.
Once the Age Limit is scrapped off from the constitution, it would then pave way for Life Presidency because he/she would rule until unspecified age. The debate has divided the politicians, civil servants and religious leaders.
Earlier in the day, several opposition members of Parliament were held hostage at their homes by police who camped overnight. Kampala Lord Mayor who was brutally arrested by the police from his home gate, has his coat left torn. The European Union, that has been at the helm of observing political situations in the country have issued a statement calling on authorities in power to guarantee the fundamental freedoms of expression and assembly as enshrined in the constitution.