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Police Arrests 14 Youths Over Anti-Age Limit Protests

The activists under the White Angels umbrella took over the city streets early morning dressed in while overall with inscriptions denouncing the proposed constitutional amendment. They used the sound of a ringing bell to capture public attention, followed by a message encouraging Ugandans to rise up and block the amendment.
The activists arrested today
Police in Kampala has arrested 14 people who were demonstrating and issuing leaflets against the proposed removal of presidential age limits from the constitution.

The activists under the White Angels umbrella took over the city streets early morning dressed in while overall with inscriptions denouncing the proposed constitutional amendment. They used the sound of a ringing bell to capture public attention, followed by a message encouraging Ugandans to rise up and block the amendment.

Their drive followed a resolution by members of the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party to amend article 102 (b) of the constitution which caps the presidential age at 75. The move would open the last hurdle for President Yoweri Museveni to seek re-election when his term of office expires in 2021.

Under the current provision, President Museveni who was born in 1944 would not be eligible to contest for the seat. Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, will hit the limit before the next presidential election. At least 271 members of the NRM caucus last week appended signatures to a document supporting a proposal to remove the age limit cap. The decision was later endorsed by cabinet.

However, the move has met resistance from various political circles. The White Angels, one of the groups challenging the amendment had planned a peaceful march to parliament which however started with activities downtown Kampala.

But they were arrested from areas surrounding the Old Taxi Park in the centre of Kampala before starting their march to parliament.

Norman Tumuhimbise, one of the arrested youths advises Ugandans not to heed to pressure from Government, but demand for democracy and fight for their rights. Tumuhimbise added that arrests will not deter them from pushing the government to respect the will of the people.

Later police also arrested Makindye West MP Allan Ssewanyana who had reportedly gone to the Central Police Station to check on the arrested youth.

Kampala Metropolitan District Police Commander Siraj Bakaleke declined to comment on the matter. By press time, all the 14 were including the MP were still being held.

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