Military storms parliament, evicts opposition legislators

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Uganda opposition MP in commotion over presidential age.

The elite force of Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday stormed the parliament and removed opposition legislators.

The action of the military was sequel to the commotion caused by a motion to remove the presidential age caps.

The Special Forces Command (SFC) stormed into parliament as the House descended into unprecedented chaos after Speaker Rebecca Kadaga ordered the suspension of 25 MPs.

The 25 were accused of causing chaos during a previous sitting of the House, which was due to receive the motion by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi.

The Magyezi motion would clear the way for President Museveni to stand again when his current term expires in 2021. He has been in charge since 1986.

Chairs and microphones were broken while MPs who were smartly dressed a few minutes’ earlier spotted ripped jackets as the Special Forces and staff of the Sergeant at Arms violently grabbed their suspended colleagues, lifting men and women alike out of the House.

Punches flew in the process between MPs trying to protect their suspended colleagues and the plain clothed security operatives determined to evict them in a scene unseen in Uganda’s parliamentary history.

A section of MPs, strangers in the public gallery and journalists, looked on in utter shock as the chaos ensued after the Speaker had retreated to the safety of her office.

Following the eviction, which lasted almost an hour, business resumed and Ms Kadaga pushed forward with the tabling of the motion.

Efforts by Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza to protest the chaos that had ensued earlier went unheeded, forcing her to lead her remaining colleagues in a walkout.

With members of the ruling NRM party only in the House, Mr Magyezi tabled his motion which he said was aimed at ending discrimination against citizens, especially those of advanced age and those below 35 years.

Several MPs, including at least four ministers, stood to second the motion. Formal secondment was, however, led by Mr Moses Balyeku (Jinja Municipality West), Mr Jackson Kafuzi (Kyaka South) and Ms Doreen Amule (Amulata).

Source: Africa Review


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