Age Limit: Human Rights Commission Calls For Free Debate

The Uganda Human Rights Commission has Tuesday expressed dismay over animosity that has sprouted with debate on the lifting of presidential age limit.

Following reports of arrests of people including Members of parliament opposed to the amendment, the commission today called for openness and tolerance from both sides.

The Commission Chairperson, Meddie Kaggwa while addressing press, said there appeared to be discrimination exhibited in the way the different groups that are for and against the removal of age limit are handled.

“There should be no discrimination; all groups should be allowed to participate freely because this is a matter of national importance,” Kaggwa said.

He added that both groups should be given equal opportunity to air out their different views without being harassed.

Following the announcement of the plans to table the amendment bill in parliament, police have since arrested two members of parliament, summoned four for investigation and apprehended several street protesters.

The opposition on the other hand have also threatened to use violence against their NRM counterparts during the tabling of the bill on Thursday.

Earlier today, Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga was punched by Hon Bernard Atiku in the parliament corridors and the two were separated by police.

“The right of assembly, the right of speech; these are key elements in our constitution and if something is happening within the law, it is very important that these are respected,” Kaggwa urged.

“We are equally concerned by the way some groups are handled and we have been consistent in this; we feel if somebody has committed an offence and he is not armed, the measure of force used should be deliberate.”

The Commission boss urged all the rivaling groups to remain calm and exercise restraint as well as avoid use of inciting language.

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