Women rights activists yesterday reacted with consternation to last week’s raid on Parliament and urged the mastermind, Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura, to apologize for what they described as brutal arrests of female legislators opposed to the lifting of the age limit.
Gen Kayihura said he had ordered the security in which 24 MPs were roughed up and evicted from the House after they had been suspended by Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga for allegedly violating rules of procedure.
And on Friday, women activists used a national dialogue reflecting on evolution of Ugandan women since independence to castigate last week’s event on Parliament, saying they demeaned women’s dignity as security operatives roughed up female legislators opposed to the removal of presidential age limit and bundled them in police vehicles.
“We were flabbergasted by the manner in which female MPs were manhandled by security operatives. We don’t care whether it was SFC [Special Forces Command] or police but we demand for an apology from the commander of that operation,” said Fowode executive director Patricia Munabi.
Flavia Kalule Nabagabe, a women’s rights activist, said the actions of security operatives at Parliament retard the democratic and political achievements registered by the country.
“It was scaring and it painted a bad picture for women who would wish to join politics. You can’t see your colleague being pulled and manhandled and you venture into the same,” Kalule said.
Five female legislators who include Mukono Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze, Ms Angelina Osege, Soroti Municipality, Ms Judith Akello, Agago District Woman MP and Lucy Achiro Otim, Aruu North MP were pulled by plain clothed operatives to the extent of being admitted to different hospitals.