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Uganda Watch Update 7

Committee ends consultations

The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Uganda parliament ended consultations on the age limit bill on 24 November and are now drafting a report documenting the results of the consultations. The committee met with 35 groups and individual for the consultations. Accordingly there are more people for the age limit amendment than those against it.  Many leading political figures including the main opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye declined an invitation to meet the committee.

FDC chairperson arrested

The opposition’s Forum for Democratic Change chairperson for greater Kibaale, Ayebale Kanyarutoke, was arrested on Sunday and detained by the police. He is accused of promoting sectarianism. He was arrested because he had been collecting signatures from people who are against the constitutional amendment to remove presidential age limits.  There has been heightened threats targeting those who try to mobilize against the lifting of the age limit bill.

Musician arrested

A local musician, David Mugema, and his producer, Jonah Muwanguzi, were arrested and produced before a magistrate for releasing a song attacking and disturbing the peace of the president. Mugema’s song titled “Wumula” which means “Rest”.  The song is a protest against the amendment of the presidential age limit in the constitution and is asking President Museveni the sole beneficiary of the bill to take a break and rest.

No more fund for consultations

The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee was supposed to carry out regional consultative meetings that would cover the entire country to get views on the age limit bill. The consultations have however been called off due to lack of funds.  However when the bill was tabled, members of parliament was given each about $8,000 for consultations. The opposition contend that government is trying to do is to circumvent the known process so that they can quickly pass the bill into law, without following due process.

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