Opposition Members of Parliament who were attacked with tear gas by police yesterday as they campaigned against lifting of the 75-year age limit cap for presidency have warned President Yoweri Museveni against trying to use force to push through his party agenda of expunging Article 102 (b) from the Constitution.
Led by Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza and Shadow Internal Affairs Minister Muwanga Kivumbi, the MPs, who were responding to yesterday’s teargasing and police directive to stop joint consultations, accused Museveni of using the force in pursuit of his interests and vowed to resist any attempts at the imminent change that many say is intended to pave the way for a ‘Museveni life presidency’.
“We want to condemn in the strongest terms possible the actions of Police, the brutal way in which they handled the matter. We condemn the circular, it is outrageous, illegal, and unconstitutional and it is stupid,” LoP Kiiza said.
She added: “No sane Ugandan can go by this circular, first of all, no Police is supposed to give a court order. Political orders can only be given by politicians. The fact that Police can issue a political directive is enough to indicate that Museveni uses Police to do his work. The order that no MP should consult in another constituency is unconstitutional, outrageous, laughable and stupid.”
According to Ms. Kiiza, they are going to continue with their consultations as prior arranged.
“Stupidly, the Police was talking about time, we aren’t in a campaign rally which will be regulated by the aspect of time like is the case with electoral laws. This isn’t a campaign rally, therefore for Police to wake up and say we are dispersing your crowds because of time is stupid-and stupidity of untold magnitude,” she added.
According to Ms. Kiiza, they will petition the International Criminal Court (ICC) to institute proceeding against the Police Director of Operations Asuman Mugenyi.
“Mugenyi should know he is a criminal wanted by ICC, these are some of the issues we are going to attach to his petition – violation of human rights, creating public disorder. So this order, no MP is going to respect it. Police isn’t going to tell MPs how to do their work. I don’t see why Police thinks a member should ask for permission, probably get a visa.
The only problem I am seeing her is that the heat is becoming too much for President Museveni to bear. My brother, uncle or grandfather, when you decide to cook with firewood, expect smoke,” Ms. Kiiza charged.
Further, according to LoP Kiiza, no amount of intimidation, teargas, bullets will deter the opposition MPs from using the design they want. “So, I hereby tell Police, let them stick to their job of protecting Ugandans, not giving political orders. If the Police think they are going to do the political dirty job of Museveni, let them be in politics so they can do it well. I can imagine that Police is full of illuminati because I can see they are thirsty for human blood,” Ms Kiiza, the Kasese Woman MP, said.
On his part Butambala MP Muwanga Kivumbi said the intended change it offends the Constitution and would be resisted.
“I have been doing politics for many years in this country and I can tell you there is a wind of change in this country and I can tell you it is of a nuclear potential. Actually right now, Museveni is the biggest liability. Therefore, the security apparatus must also pronounce themselves on age limit like other institutions, they are quiet, as if they aren’t Ugandans. That is how unpopular this product called Museveni is. For us we are going to battle Museveni in any way,” Muwanga Kivumbi said.
Speaking about the Public Order Management Act (POMA) that is being used by police to suppress the opposition’s anti-age limit removal campaigns, Muwanga Kivumbi added: “This is bad in law, we will go to court and quash this. This one will not see the light of day. For us we don’t have that time. Some Ugandans may go, for us we don’t have time to deal with such issues. For us, we are going to battle Museveni in any form he wants.
When we are organizing, we are going to continue to be peaceful; there is no need for us to be violent. We don’t want to die with Museveni, he is old, he is about to meet his creator. We want him to go peacefully.”