Age limit protests spread to Mbale, Arua, Mbarara, Masaka and Pader    

Tuesday September 26 2017
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Opponents of the age limit bill in Bunyoro protest.

MBALE- Police in the eastern Mbale District have taken one person into custody following protests that broke out against the planned amendment of the Constitution to lift the presidential age-limit.

The suspect whose name we could not immediately establish is detained at the Central Police Station in Mbale town.

Police say they found him on Republic Street leading a group of demonstrators while holding placards and chanting slogans denouncing the scheme to scrap the presidential age-limit. Previous similar protests have happened in Arua and Lira where they burned a coffin but not in Mbale until Tuesday.

The anti and pro-age limit removal demonstrations have mainly concentrated in and around the capital.

In Mbale, the Tuesday demonstrators threatened to cause violence if the age limit cap is lifted.

“We will cause violence if any one tries to tamper with our Constitution. We do not support and we will never support it,” Mr David Mafabi, one of the protesters, says.

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Some of the youth opposed to the amendment of the age limit motion in Bunyoro who have been arrested.

The police engaged the protesters in running battles on Kumi, Republic and Bishop Wasikye roads as they pelted stones at the anti-riot officers they accuse of being pro-government.

The anti-riot police officers struggled to contain the protesters. The acting DPC, Mr Steven Ahweere ordered for the sealing off of Republic Street to stop the protesters from heading to a police station to demand for the release of their colleague. This affected traffic flow on the road for two hours. Police later restored order.

In Arua, five demonstrators have been taken into custody.

Police are firing bullets, teargas to disperse hundreds of youths who have taken onto the streets over the age limit.

They are blocking streets, burning disused vehicle tyres and brandishing placards with messages denouncing the move to lift the age cap. 

One of the writings on a manila card read: “We stand with Article 102(b) and (Aruu) MP Odonga Otto, we stand with you” in the fight against the removal of age limit.

FDC supporters arrested

Police in Masaka District have arrested six members of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), who staged a march to protest the impending removal of the presidential age limit from the Constitution

Those arrested include FDC's organising secretary for Masaka sub-region, Mr Joseph Ssenzoga, Mr Bernard Mugenyi, an FDC youth among others.

 They were arrested as they marched from the party offices on Elgin Street in Masaka town.

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Police officers arrest protestors in Masaka town. Photo by Christopher Kisekka

The protestants were wearing red head bands while reciting the anti-age limit repeal slogans and calling on the population to join what they termed as a struggle to defend the Constitution before it is too weak to defend them.

“We oppose the amendment of Article 102(b), they should not tamper with it. No life presidency to Mr Museveni,” one of them shouted.

Police commanded by acting Masaka District Police Commander, Mr Moses Kakiryo never allowed them to proceed by arresting and bundling them onto police patrol cars as other protesters fled.

  editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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