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Uganda Watch Update 8

Parliament committee approves age limit

The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Uganda parliament has endorsed the proposal to amend the constitution by removing presidential age limits. This means that the bill will be presented to parliament for a vote by the legislators. The Committee Chair Jacob Oboth said the report would have both majority and minority views.

New campaign rolled out

A group of opposition members of parliament have launched a new campaign against the removal of the presidential age limit called “Togikwatako Week” “Togikwatako” is a slogan used by those opposed to the proposal to remove presidential age limits and can be translated to mean “Do not touch” the constitution.

During a press conference Butambala MP Muwanga Kivumbi announced the campaign which asks the electorate to dress in red and to call and visit the homes of their MPs to warn them against lifting the presidential age limit. The campaign will culminate with a parade along the parliamentary avenue on the day the lega and parliamentary report is to be read to the plenary.

85% Ugandans oppose the age limit amendment

A survey titled “Citizen’s Perceptions on the Proposed Amendment of Article 102(b) of the Constitution” carried out by the Citizens Coalition on Electoral Democracy (CEEDU) and Uganda Governance Monitoring Platform (UGMP) shows that 85% of Ugandans are against the age limit amendment. The survey covered 50,429 citizens in 80 constituencies across the country. The survey ran for three months from September and showed that the region which objected most strongly to the proposal was the east, where 95% of the population disagreed and the north of Uganda where 86% of the population disapproved. The central region had the least objection to the proposal. The Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies (GLISS) Executive Director Godber Tumushabe said that the research was met with resistance and some of the researchers were arrested or had their data confiscated by security organs.

Opposition leader arrested

The president of the opposition Democratic Party, Nobert Mao, was arrested together with eleven other individuals as they attempted to march to parliament on Tuesday. Mr. Mao held a press conference to launch the Red Ribbon week to protest the proposal to remove the presidential age limits. He and other members of his party intended to march to the parliament in protest of the age limit removal report written by the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee that many speculated would be presented on the floor of parliament on Tuesday, December 12, 2017. The police arrested the group and charged them with unlawful assembly.

Minister to kill dissenters

Minister without Portfolio Haji Abdul Naduli threatened to use guerilla tactics to kill anyone that opposes the proposal to remove the presidential age limit. He said the bill would be passed by parliament because amending or not amending was a ‘parliamentary issue’ and bot for the public.

“Whoever came here with a spirit of defiance will go back with one arm. I will not just sit back and look on while the revolution that I fought for is being sabotaged. I did not train for nothing.”, he warned.

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