The European Union has issued a statement condemning the chaotic scenes that marred the country as Parliament yesterday readied to debate a motion to lift the presidential age limit.
In a statement to Eagle Online, the ten member country organisation expressed concerns over the tension across the country with the body rebuking the arrests and actions targeting NGOs as well as political activists.
“We are deeply concerned about the build-up of tension in and outside Kampala that might lead to infringing the fundamental freedoms of Ugandan citizens and damage the country’s international reputation. We monitor closely and with concern the most recent reports of cases of arrests and actions targeting NGOs and political activists,” European Union’s statement read in part.
The statement followed wide police deployment across the country with military police taking over security in Kampala.
Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, councilors at KCCA and some students of Makerere University faced the wrath of Police that saw them book their places in Police coolers.
The European Union delegation in Uganda comprises Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and the United Kingdom.
The situation got worse when earlier in the day Military Police put Parliament under siege ahead of attempts at tabling the motion, barring MPs from parking their cars within Parliament parking lot.
However, the body has called for an open debate on such a sensitive stating; “We are also troubled by the inflammatory language used in debating issues of national interest, pertaining to the democratic process in Uganda. We consider that major issues related to the national development should be debated in an open and inclusive national dialogue.”
The European Union has also called on authorities to guarantee the fundamental freedoms of expression and assembly as enshrined in the constitution, saying the saw law provides the right of all citizens to fully express their civil and political rights without fear of intimidation.
Meanwhile, debate on the motion was called off by the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah just hours before it was set to begin, with the Deputy Speaker saying there would be further consultations on the matter that has caused tension in the country.