Red week: Museveni wants age limit as his Christmas gift-Basalirwa  

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Asuman Basalirwa

Jeema party president, Asuman Basalirwa, says President Yoweri Museveni is giving himself the presidential age limit bill as a Christmas gift.

He was Monday morning speaking on the planned opposition demonstrations against the age limit bill dubbed “Red Week #Togikwatako Campaign”.

The campaign has been on since the discussion on age limit started, Basalirwa said, explaining that the population is aware of what is happening.

“What we are going to do is a climax of what has been happening. We intend to intensify these activities,” he noted while appearing on TV “morning breeze” programme.

According to Basalirwa, some of the planned activities don’t require informing the polic because informing the police is limited to assemblies and not posting on social media, walking alone, consulting other MPs etc.

He said Parliament is a public space and Ugandans are free to go to Parliament unless the Speaker pronounces otherwise.

“There is nothing clandestine that is being planned. We announced to the country what we are planning to do. Whatever activity we are going to do is legal.”

Basalirwa warned that if there are elements that want to break the law and perpetuate violence, police is in order to stop the violence.

“We don’t expect police to stop unarmed people going to Parliament peacefully. We (people) want to be in Parliament to witness if these MPs are going to reflect our views.”

Basalirwa is sure Uganda Communications Commission [UCC] will issue a directive to televisions not to go live in Parliament.

He said the concern of police should be maintain law and order for a lawful activity doesn’t threaten law and order.

“There is a fundamental problem with the police. Part of the problem with this police is, it’s a regime police and not a democratic police.”

He said #Togikwatako has been an ongoing activity and leaders have engaging with the people.

FDC, JEEMA, DP and UPC will use its structures to mobilize people for this week so Ugandans can liaise with their respective parties.

“Museveni wants to make this amendment a Christmas gift to himself and wants it to go through Parliament this week. Us who are opposed to it don’t want it to go through Parliament,” he said.

He added: “If we don’t stop Mr Museveni to use constitutional and legal processes to perpetuate his personal and selfish gains, then we are going to a wrong direction.”

Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander, Frank Mwesigwa, said Parliament has Parliamentary police that works closely with sergeant-at-arms that is expected to keep order at the august house.

“We don’t expect masses to come to the parking of Parliament. We have no problem with those who will be in the public gallery,” Mwesigwa warned.

“Once the threat is high, we shall have adequate deployment to see that there is a democratic process. When they launched their campaign, they warned the police and we have those threats of beating our officers.”

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