Police deployed heavily outside the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) offices in Mbarara town yesterday, where opposition party leaders were holding a meeting to discuss the Constitutional Amendment Bill (2017).
The party officials, despite the police presence, sent out a stern message to the people in the region to resist the move to amend the constitution and remove the limitation on the age of presidential candidates.
The officials asked locals to pressure their parliamentary representatives to stand against the Bill, which according to Justice Minister Kahinda Otafiire, has already been gazetted and awaits being tabled on the floor of Parliament.
The meeting was addressed by FDC district chairpersons Godfrey Mugisha (Sheema district), and Mwetise Bintabara (Kiruhura district) and Stanley Katembeya (Mbarara) and was attended by scores of party members and the media.
At the meeting, the Kiruhura FDC chairman Mwetise Bintabara said Ugandans were on the verge on losing the country’s only opportunity to protect the integrity of the national constitituion.
Citing other neighboring countries which “resisteted the temptation of altering their constitution in favor of individual leaders,” Mr Bintabara said President Yoweri Museveni himself is not in position to withstand the temptation of leaving office and that it is therefore the role of the citizens to help him leave peacefully.
“This is our only chance. We want to see a leader leave office without having to run to exile to get killed,” said Bintabara
“The president by himself cannot step down; it is too tempting. He is unable to and only needs to be encouraged. If your baby loves to eat, you cannot feed it until it explodes.”
Meanwhile, Mbarara FDC chairman Stanley urged Ugandans to use all possible means to block the Bill.
“We are going to mobilize people to stand for this cause,” he vowed.
Government however, denies knowledge of the Constitutional amendment bill.
Yesterday, the Deputy Attorney General Mesigwa Rukutana told Parliament that no such bill exists or plans of tabling it.