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Security tight as Uganda parliament discuss presidential age limit

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Security was tightened here Thursday in and around Uganda’s capital to prevent any violence ahead of a motion in parliament, which seeks to scrap the presidential age limit of 75 years.

Asan Kasingye, Uganda’s police spokesperson, told Xinhua by phone that the police and military have been deployed in the capital Kampala especially around the parliament, key strategic installations and major towns.

"We have deployed a joint capability force with our sister security agencies for both covert and overt operations," said Kasingye.

Opposition legislators and campaigners opposed to the motion say the move by the ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) is intended to allow President Yoweri Museveni to run in the 2021 elections when he is over 75 years old.

The NRM parliamentary caucus Wednesday endorsed a move by Igara West MP Raphael Magezi to present a motion seeking parliamentary leave to draft a constitutional amendment of Article 102(b) and scrap the 75-year-old age limit for presidents.

The opposition and campaigners against the bill have vowed to block the bill when it comes to parliament.

They have mobilized the public to come to parliament Thursday to prevent the submitting of the bill.

Police Wednesday raided offices of the non-governmental organizations it suspects of funding the campaign against the bill.

Museveni has been in power for over 30 years.


Ugandan police arrest dozens of protesters

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Police in Uganda on Thursday arrested dozens of protesters including the Mayor of the capital Kampala for leading demonstrations against the amendment of the country’s Constitution to remove the presidential age limit.

Emilian Kayima, Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson told Xinhua by telephone that police arrested Lord Mayor, Elias Lukwago, over 40 opposition supporters and activists for holding illegal assemblies contrary to the public order management act.

He said the protesters also violated the Wednesday directive by the Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura banning all processions and demonstrations in the country on Thursday.

Kayihura in a statement banned all processions and demonstrations in the capital, municipalities and major towns over reports that protesters against the amendment of the Constitution were planning to cause mayhem.

"We have arrested several people and will continue to do so for disobeying the issued guidelines, causing confusion and violence in the city.

"We shall take them to courts of law," said Kayima.

Lukwago was arrested while getting out of his home.

He had called the public to march to Parliament.

Other protesters were arrested while attempting to access Parliament, which is out of bounds for the public due to the controversial bill.

A member of the ruling National Resistance Movement party, Raphael Magezi, plans to move a motion amending the Constitution to remove the presidential age range limit of 75 years.



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