20 September 2017

Uganda: Age Limit - Two NGO Offices Under Police Siege

Photo: Alex Esagala/Daily Monitor
Security officers deployed at the main gate of Parliament.

Civil society offices of Action Aid in Kasanga and Great Lakes Institute For Strategic Studies in Ntinda are under police siege with staff not allowed to leave the premises.

Police cordoned off the offices this evening, producing a search warrant issued by Makindye Chief Magistrate's court on the request of AIP Henry Peter Walya attached to the Criminal Investigations Department. According to the search warrant, Action Aid is suspected of being used for elicit transfer of funds for illegal activities.

The two NGOs have been vocal against the lifting of the presidential age limit from between 35 years and 75 years from the Constitution.

According to Crispin Kaheru, coordinator of the Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CEDDU), police indicated interest in the IT, Accounts and Country Director's offices. All electronic devices were put under search according to him.

Yesterday, 287 of 296 the National Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs voted in support of a motion by Igara West MP, Raphael Magyezi seeking leave to present a private member's bill to lift age limit from the Constitution.

PROCESSIONS BANNED

In a related development, Police chief Gen Kale Kayihura has banned any processions ahead of the anticipated debate in Parliament over lifting the age limit. Opposition MPs and civil society had called on the citizenry to attend parliament to witness the 'castration' of the Constitution. It is also understood that NRM has also mobolised its supporters to counter any opposition demonstrators.

Kayihura has advised the demonstrators to use other means such as TV and radio networks, indoor meeting, electronic and print media among others to express their support or disapproval.

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