Students injured as police fight age limit protesters

A protestor being arrested by police officers. Photo by Yazid Yolisigira

IGANGA- At least eight students were on Tuesday injured after inhaling teargas that was fired by police officers who were dispersing a group of people who were protesting the proposed scrapping of the presidential age limit from the Constitution.

The tear gas that spread to several areas of Iganga town severely affected students of Iganga Progressive Academy, who were attending class. They are admitted to Iganga Hospital in critical condition.

Carrying placards and chanting anti-age limit scrapping slogans, the group staged a procession on Saza Road before police led by the Iganga District Police Commander,  Mr Nasibu Ndita, fired live bullets and teargas to disperse the protestors who were being joined by other members of the public.

A 30-minute running battle ensued as police tried to arrest the protestors.

 Mr Ndita told journalists that four people were arrested and would be charged with unlawful assembly.

“What they were doing was wrong because they had not sought permission from the Inspector General of Police. We arrested four people and they will be charged,” he said.

Before marching in Iganga town, the protesters who were led by Mr Lulenzi Bamu, the Nakavule Ward Councillor in Iganga Municipal Council, held a press conference where they condemned the proposed removal of the presidential age limit from the Constitution by MPs belonging to the ruling National Resistance Movement [NRM] party.

Mr Bamu said there is no need for MPs from Busoga region to back the scrapping of Article 102 (b) from the Constitution, to pave way for President Museveni, who has been in power for 30 years, to contest again in 2021, when there is nothing much the region has gained from his leadership.

The protestors hold placards before their procession in Iganga town. Photo by Yazid Yolisigira

 “When MPs from Busoga  go ahead and pass the bill, they will have betrayed us because Busoga is the capital city of poverty as evidenced by jigger infestation. We need another president who will cause change in the region,” Mr Bamu said.

He noted that the removal of presidential age limit will create a bad precedent for the leadership of the country.

“I am a member of NRM but I am against the removal of age limit. We need President Museveni to retire and we get other leaders who will improve on the health sector, re-grade roads and provide jobs for the youth,” Mr Wilson Buyinza, the NRM Youth Chairperson Iganga Central Division.

He said: “We need change in this country and we are warning our MPs from Busoga not to betray us. We are watching you!”