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PHOTOS: Police Arrest NRM Youth Opposed to Age Limit Bill

Police apprehend NRM Youth League boss Robert Rutaro.
Police apprehend NRM Youth League boss Robert Rutaro.

Police at Makerere University on Wednesday arrested three members of the NRM Youth League who were protesting against the proposed Constitutional Amendment Bill.

Government is reportedly preparing to table the Constitution Amendment Bill 2017, which among others carries a proposal to remove the upper age-limit for presidential candidates.

The Attorney General’s Office has however, distanced itself from the Bill, saying it’s not aware about it.

On Wednesday a section of members from the NRM Youth League under the umbrella UB40 (Ugandans Below 40) led by Robert Rutaro organized a press conference at Makerere Guest House, expressing dissatisfaction over the proposed bill.

“Time is now for Uganda to have a peaceful change of power. Attempting to remove the age limit would be an unfair decision for the young generation,” Rutaro, the head of the NRM Youth League desk told journalists shortly before he was arrested.

Hamidu Luutu fighting officers

Hamidu Luutu fighting officers

In the middle of the briefing, Police officers kicked in and were engaged in cat and mouse games as they tried to arrest Eria Musoke and Walakira Hamidu Luutu who claimed to have been trained at the National Leadership Institute, Kyankwanzi and were NRM cadres.

Displaying certificates from Kyankwanzi, the youths exchanged with the police before they were surrounded and apprehended.

Speaking to journalists, Habib Mboowa, who was also part of the group, said they are determined to organize demonstrations and other campaigns to oppose the age limit bill.

“We agree that President Museveni has been a good leader and he should finish his term peacefully but we will not allow tampering with the constitution,” Mboowa said.

Robert Rutaro says the Constitutional amendment denies youths a chance on the country's leadership

Robert Rutaro says the Constitutional amendment denies youths a chance on the country’s leadership

“We will de-campaign whoever supports the bill because it is intended to deny youths chance to take power.”

Mboowa and other youths are known for being behind a wave of demonstrations supporting the candidature of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi in 2014 under the NRM Poor Youth.

They would later be swayed to denounce the group.

The Officer in Charge of Makerere university police, Denis Kasibante said the group had convened an illegal assembly without notifying police.

“We could not allow an illegal meeting to continue,” he said.

FDC and opposition strongman Dr.Kizza Besigye on Tuesday said the age limit is the remaining obstacle to president Museveni’s life presidency; asking Ugandans not to accept the bill.

Police say the youths didn't have permission to hold the meeting at Makerere

Police say the youths didn’t have permission to hold the meeting at Makerere

However, while addressing Parliament recently, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon Kahinda Otafiire said the Constitution is not his property but for the people of Uganda adding that it is not a commandment of God.

“All the articles of the Constitution are up for amendment if the people of Uganda so choose,” he is quoted to have said.

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