20 September 2017

Uganda: Oulanyah Calls for Calm Amid Tensions Over Age Limit Bill

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

Kampala — The Deputy Speaker of Uganda's Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has confirmed that he has received two notices of motion in relation to a constitution amendment.

In his communication to the members, Oulanyah who chaired the Tuesday session said that he had received two motions. The first is from Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi seeking leave of parliament to introduce a private members bill to amend the constitution on issues which include the age limit.

Another motion before the speaker is from MPs opposed to the removal of the presidential age limit and seeking for the establishment of the constitution review commission to get views from the public about the constitutional amendment.

Oulanyah said the notices of motion will be discussed first with the house business committee chaired by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to decide if it can be scheduled for business Thursday afternoon.

The Business Committee is provided for under Rule No.150 of the Rules of Procedure and it is mandated to arrange the business of each meeting and the order in which it shall be taken.

Tension at parliament

Oulanyah warned the MPs against inciting the public by stoking violence even within the precincts of parliament for the police to respect their immunity from prosecution.

The precincts of parliament were tense as the premises had been surrounded by Military Police and Mambas, anticipating a backlash of citizens and MPs opposed to the lifting of the controversial Age Limit Art 102 (b).

THURSDAY: D-Day for Age Limit debate https://t.co/1lwkEj5ZXH pic.twitter.com/GkKA6jUFl9

-- The Independent (@UGIndependent) September 19, 2017

Oulanyah defended the heavy security deployment around parliament saying it's been prompted by mps who have been threatening violence.

Oulanyah who was reacting to concerns raised by the opposition deputy chief whip Roland Mugume Kaginda (Rukungiri municipality) about the unusual deployment that is scaring the mps justified the presence of the security forces noting that they were there to keep law and order given the current tense situation at parliament.

Oulanyah noted that a number of mps have been heard in electronic, print and on social media threatening to cause war in parliament when it comes to the proposed amendment of constitution to lift president age.

"I have watched a clip on social media where an honorable member of this house is calling for a war in parliament that has never been seen over the age limit. When you do that you make parliament look like a scene of crime and you cannot stop police from deploying," said Oulanya.

Magyezi death threats, Abiriga brawl

The Member of Parliament for Igara West Raphael Magyezi has meanwhile told reporters at parliament that he is receiving death threats because of his private members' bill on proposed amendment of article 102 (b) of the constitution to lift the age limit of the presidency.

"I have been to police to report threatening messages on my life and family because it is my right to be secure. If you say you will finish Magyezi and his team, what do you mean??" said Magyezi

Magyezi said he has already written to the speaker about his intention to present a motion seeking leave of parliament to introduce an omnibus Private Member's Bill to amend Articles 102 (b), 108(3a) and 108(4) in a move seen as a significant step towards securing a free run for President Yoweri Museveni to seek re-election in 2021.

Flanked by a host of other MPs including, Juliet Ssuubi Kinnyamatama (Rakai) and (Rtd) Col.Ibrahim Abiriga (Arua Municipality), Margaret Komuhangi (Nakasongola), Robert Musoke (Budiope west) Magyezi noted that they are going to consult their constituents about the matter and that they will not be intimated.

Earlier in the afternoon, Bernard Atiku (Independent, Ayivu County) had a brawl with Abiriga Ibrahim (NRM Arua Municipality) over the now very hot issue of the age limit removal.

Abiriga was seen taking a bottle of cold water to cool off the steam after the scuffle with the police coming in to separate the dueling duo.


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