Makerere University students protest presidential age limit despite ban | This is Africa

Politics and Society

Makerere University students protest presidential age limit despite ban

48 people in Uganda including 25 students from Makerere University were arrested after teargas was fired to disperse them for protesting the contentious removal of the presidential age limit, currently set at 75. If approved, the constitutional amendment could allow President Yoweri Museveni (73) to extend his stay in power.



Makerere university students who had gathered around their campus to embark on a banned procession to parliament; where a debate was to be held on the presidential age limit; were arrested. The students are however yet to be charged and will be processed for court after screening, said Wandegeya Division police commander, Joseph Nsabimana to the local media.

“I was hit with a stone on my left leg. I am now limping. The stone was thrown from Douglas Villa hostel. They also beat up other civilians. They have to be taken to court to account for their actions. What they did was criminal,” Nsabimana was quoted by the Daily Monitor.

The Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura said they received information about groups planning to use the cover of processions to “cause violence and mayhem” and that the police are obliged to keep law and order. Furthermore, the police had banned all processions to allow parliament to “debate in peace”. There was heavy deployment of security services including the military around the parliament and other parts of the city with members of the house forced to walk to the debate.

Read: Yoweri Museveni president for life? Uganda’s limitless presidential age


Other instances

23 other suspects were arrested in the joint operations between police and military in Kasangati, Natete, Ndeeba and Kampala streets.

Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Emilian Kayima maintained that police had only 48 suspects, including the 25 Makerere university students. “Chaos was only at Makerere and outside Parliament and that there was no chaos in other parts of Kampala. “We are now interrogating the suspects and those we find culpable shall be taken to court,” Kayima reportedly said.

Museveni swears-in for the his fifth term 2011 (Source: The Observer, Uganda)

However, on the same day, the Kampala City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago was also picked up from his home and sent to the Kira police station over plans to march from the city hall to the city square with other city leaders to campaign against the removal of age-limit.

Read: Ugandan youths resist plot to scrap presidential age limit

The police also sealed off the offices of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) to prevent them from staging a similar march to parliament.



Nsabimana claimed that Makerere University had resolved to dismiss students who orchestrated the ugly protests. However, the university’s spokesperson Ritah Namisango said she was not aware of any resolution to dismiss students.

Despite all this the speaker of parliament Jacob Oulanyah deferred the presidential age limit debate after the opposition filed a motion for adjournment due to the heavy police deployment.


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