Tourism minister Ephraim Kamuntu has condemned the fracas in which legislators exchanged blows on the floor of parliament. Parliament this afternoon degenerated into a fist-fight moments after the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga gave Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi a go-ahead to present a motion seeking for the amendment of Article 102 b of the constitution, paving way for the possible removal of presidential age limits.
Tourism minister Ephraim Kamuntu has condemned the fracas in which legislators exchanged blows on the floor of parliament.
Parliament this afternoon degenerated into a fist-fight as a number of legislators accused State Minister for Water Ronald Kibuule of sneaking a gun into the parliamentary chambers. The MPs, mainly from the opposition argued that their lives as well as those of other legislators were at risk.
The exchange came moments after the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga announced that parliament had allowed Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi to present a motion seeking for the amendment of Article 102 (b) of the constitution, paving way for the possible removal of presidential age limits.
But soon after her communication, opposition legislators rose up claiming that their safety was threatened due to the presence of guns in parliament. This was followed by a fight between Makindye West MP Allan Ssewanyana and Minister Kibuule.
Busongora North MP William Nzoghu and Busiro South MP Medard Lubega Sseggona asked the Speaker to suspend the sitting and allow members to be checked again into the Chambers. However, the Speaker only asked Kibuule to vacate the chambers to the disagreement of other legislators.
Some MPs exchanged blows, while others lifted chairs and threw them at their colleagues. The chaos went on for over 20 minutes as the Speaker called the House to order in vain.
They later calmed down when Minister for Energy and Minerals Development, Irene Muloni, was given the platform to present a report on Uganda's the Oil and gas sector.
Now Professor Kamuntu, a veteran politician and supporter of the lifting of the presidential age limits, says that although the opposition was not happy with the fact that the speaker allowed for the debate on the age limit removal, they lacked courtesy and went against the rules of procedure of Parliament.
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Kinkinzi West MP James Kaberuka says he does not blame the MPs on both sides for the fight, but blames the origin of the debate. He states that the Speaker should have been able to read the mood of the House before reading out motions to be tabled.
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Theodore Ssekikubo, the Lwemiyaga MP said the laying of the proposals by the speaker now means they are in for a real challenge. He says that it's not over yet as they are opposed to the idea of lifting the presidential age limits.
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Aswa County MP Reagan Okumu says the fight in the house shows discontent and a determination of the opposition. He says that all is not lost and the MPs opposed to lifting the age limits have a strategy to counter the supporters of the motion.
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Now 73, the current constitution prohibits President Museveni from standing as president in 2021.