21 September 2017

Uganda: MP Fungaroo Rallies Voters Against Presidential Age Limit Removal

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

West Nile — The Obongi County MP, Mr Hassan Kaps Fungaroo, has mobilised constituents to storm the streets of Arua in protest against the proposed lifting of the presidential age limit.

The proposed amendment has stirred controversy within some sections of society, including religious leaders cautioning the MPs to go slow not to plunge the country into chaos.

Some NRM and independent MPs are plotting to table a key motion in Parliament today seeking leave of the House to introduce an omnibus private Members' Bill to amend article 102(b) and remove the 75 cap on the presidency.

Rival MPs have filed a counter notice of motion with the deputy speaker.

Speaking to the press on Wednesday morning, Mr Fungaroo said, the army and police should step out of the age limit debate and allow people to express their views.

"I ask all the youth and everyone in the West Nile districts to come out tomorrow (Thursday) on the streets as debate goes on in Parliament. People should not allow the leaders hold them at ransom for their personal benefits by supporting the age limit," he said.

During a recent press conference, the Koboko Municipality MP, Ms Evelyne Anite, who has been at the forefront of the lifting of the age limit campaign, said the army was behind them.

At Parliament, the military and police have deployed heavily to quash any protests ahead of today's debate on the matter. Two weeks ago, a group of NRM youth were mobilised by the deputy RDC of Arua, Mr Swaib Toko, and marched on Arua streets to show their support for lifting of the age limit.

Fungaroo added: "This debate has divided everyone both the leaders in Parliament and at the districts. People of West Nile should reflect on how much they have suffered and continued to be marginalized under Museveni's leadership since 1986."

In Arua, some youth are already organising a demonstration against the age limit lifting saying they want peaceful change of leadership where democratic principles are followed.

But one of the youth in Arua Town, Mr Michael Angunda, told Daily Monitor that: "This is a total catastrophe because an ordinary youth would never test power in the highest position of the country. This is an abrogation of the Constitution that started with President Milton Obote and must not continue."

Mr Angunda added: "People, especially some of our leaders have become so desperate for survival with love for money that is forcing them to surrender their Constitution. And with this amendment, I am afraid that Uganda is going back to dark days because already, there is military siege at Parliament. This is not good for upholding the democratic principles."

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