Museveni warns opposition on age limit demonstrations

BY Tom Mugisha,

KAMPALA –  Uganda’s President Museveni has warned the opposition politicians who are resisting the plan to amend the constitution to remove the 75-age limit cap on presidency.

The opposition says the proposed amendment is intended to keep the 73 year old Museveni in power because he will not be legible to stand for president in 2021.

But in his address to the nation on Monday during the celebrations to mark 55 years of independence from the British colonialists, President Museveni said those opposed to the proposed amendment were using threats to intimidate and silence those who are pro the amendment.

“Uganda’s independence and democracy was bought with blood of our patriots, therefore, nobody will be allowed to undermine it. We will resist them.  I want to assure all Ugandans that the NRM government will continue to maintain peace and stability in Uganda.” he said.

President Museveni who has been in power since 1986 will be legible to stand for President again in 2012 if the age limit is removed by parliament, accused the opposition of threatening free speech.

Police has already given bodyguards to several Members of Parliament who have come under attacks in different parts of the country by those against the proposed amendment.

“We have given them protection because they are being threatened,” Mr Mwesigwa said without giving details on how many have been given police protection.

Two weeks ago, the legislators opposed to the planned amendment were involved in a brawl with members of security agencies after refusing to vacate the parliamentary chambers.

The scuffle broke out after the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga called security personnel to force the legislators out of the chambers after refusing to heed to her directive suspending them for an earlier chaotic scene in parliament.

The legislators had fought and thrown chairs at a minister who had allegedly entered the parliamentary chambers with a gun reportedly to intimidate them for opposing the proposed amendment.

Museveni said the opposition politicians claim to be democratic but they are the same people who are not allowing divergent views.

Museveni said Ugandans should “appreciate the peace and security” that was brought by his ruling party despite what he called a few security spells that have left a number of women killed in Kampala suburbs.

He, however, assured the nation that his government would end the killings that are targeting women who are raped and later killed.

At least 20 women have been killed in a similar manner raising fears of a serial killer on rampage.

“There has been a spate of crime but we are getting to bottom of this crime. We have made a lot of arrests and we are ending that problem of crime,” Museveni said.

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