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Age limit updates: No debate at gunpoint, MPs vow

As Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi prepares to seek leave of parliament to introduce a motion for private member's bill to amend the Constitution to lift the presidential age limit, a lot is anticipated. The Observer will attempt to bring you latest updates. Kindly refresh for the latest updates. 

15:25: Opposition vow not to let debate take place under gun point. MPs mainly from the opposition and a section from the ruling party NRM, jubilated after the House was adjourned. Ssemujju Nganda vowed that they will never debate at gunpoint and the message has been sent out loud and clear to President Gen Yoweri Museveni. They MPs wore red band claiming it signals blood and they are ready for war. 

MPs jubilate at the stairs of parliament after plenary was adjourned 

15:18: With persistent heckling Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has adjourned the House. He said it appears that the MPs were not willing to sit and the speaker was not willing to preside over a House that doesn't want to sit. Opposition MPs appear the happiest. They high-five each other. 

15:10: Aruu MP Odonga Otto says Evelyn Anite be taken to the disciplinary committee. He says Anite got the attendance list and presented it before the media as a list of people in support of lifting the age limit. 

15:04: Jacob Oulanyah says there's nothing beyond Parliament to discuss. The deputy speaker says there are things that they know but are not said because they want to maintain the dignity of the House because they would be embarrassing. Asks if MPs bothered to find out who brought pigs in parliament. 

14:59: PM Ruhakana Rugunda heckled when he said MPs are sitting comfortably due to the heavy deployments. He said incidences as reported by MPs shall be investigated. MPs now singing the national anthem. House has turned chaotic even Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah can only laugh.  

14:46: Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda says there has been chaos and violence reported in various parts of the country. PM Rugunda says because of the security situation that has been created, security forces particularly police had to take charge. 

14:40: LOP Winnie Kiiza requests Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah to adjourn the House. Kiiza says the House should be adjourned to enable Members of Parliament to go back and reflect on what has happened today. MPs have been arrested, houses under siege, people arrested, she said. 

14:36: MP Gerald Karuhanga says the people have spoken through demonstrations. The Ntungamo MP says the various demonstrations across the country at various universities and various towns is a clear message of what the people are saying about the proposed age lift amendment. 

14:30: Leader of Opposition (LOP) Winnie Kiiza demands return of sanctity to Parliament, wonders why the House is under siege. Kiiza says the the unusual deployment has caused suffering not only to MPs but other members of the public including the Lord Mayor, KCCA councillors, students etc who have been blocked from accessing Parliament and arrested. 

14:20: Deployment was overboard says deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah. The deputy speaker Oulanyah has said that although the deployment was called for due to the MPs' behaviour (threatening violence), what the deployment fears is not in the House. Meanwhile, the motions for and against age limit amendment have been deferred to next week. Oulanyah says news dates will be communicated. 

14:16: Plenary starts chaired by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah. Oulanyah had reportedly declined to chair the session citing the various controversial bills that he has previously handled. It is a full House. Oulanyah says it is indeed a special sitting as he has not seen such a full House in a long time. 

13:30: Age limit motion missing from today's Order Paper. For now, Raphael Magyezi's anticipated motion is missing on today's released Order Paper of items meant to be discussed by the MPs. The Order Paper however, can be amended during plenary. 

13:04: Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze attempts to pluck off MP Ibrahim Abiriga's yellow cap. Nambooze who arrived at Parliament clad in a red sporty attire, unsuccessfully attempted to pluck off fellow legislator's yellow cap as while he was being interviewed by NTV. 

Betty Nambooze attempts to pluck off Abiriga's yellow cap

13:00: Democratic Party president Norbert Mao blocked from accessing Parliament. The opposition political party leader was blocked from accessing Parliament by the unbudgeable police. After unsuccessful pleadings he drove away.  

12:55pm: Forum for Democratic Change's Ingrid Turinawe arrested. Turinawe was arrested from around Mini Price complex in Downtown Kampala. She was arrested with three other people. Several people were following her car as she drove through the streets. The are currently being held at Central Police Station. 

12:50pm: Police foils anti-age limit demo in Igara West. Igara West is the home of Raphael Magyezi the expected mover of today's motion. 

12:10pm: Teargas fired Downtown, shops closed and streets are getting emptier. 

11:50am: Sole supporter for age limit amendment spotted at Parliament, not arrested. An unknown sole protestor dressed in a yellow T-shirt with a big banner marched towards Parliament but unlike previous demonstrators, he was not arrested. He only had his big banner taken away by Police. 

This sole protestor was not arrested unlike other protestors who were suspected to be against lifting the age limit

11:30am: Makerere University arrested near Fairway hotel. Somehow a group of Makerere University students managed to beat security and made it all the way to Yusuf Lule road near Fairway hotel. However they were arrested by police enroute to Parliament.  

11:15am: Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago transferred to Naggalama police station. Kampala city mayor Erias Lukwago who was arrested earlier in the morning 'live on TV' as he was being interviewed by NTV from his home has been transferred from Kira Police Division in Namugongo to Naggalama Police Station (aka Besigye police station). 

A police chopper hovering over the skies of Kampala city

11:00am: Cabinet ministers address joint press conference. Arguably the first of its kind, a group of more than 10 ministers addressed a joint press conference at the Office of Prime Minister.

They reiterated their support for Raphael Magyezi's motion. They blamed the MPs and media of confusing the population that the age limit is going to be lifted today.

Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa said cabinet is not endorsing life presidency because there will be elections in 2021 and thereafter. And if the opposition claims the elections are cosmetic, then they are cosmetic as well for participating in a cosmetic process. 

A heavily armed policeman keeping guard at Parliament

10:50am: Makerere University Guild President Paul Kato among the many students who have been arrested. Meanwhile in Soroti town, police recovered two car tyres and a bottle of petrol from the protestors. 

10.40am: Doreen Nyanjura, the LC5 Woman Councillor Makerere University, Lord Councillor Muhammad Segirinya and another an unidentified Councillor have been arrested as they attempted to march to Parliament. 

10:30am: Fire fighting equipment stocked for Parliament. It is unclear if the procurement for the fire extinguishers and other fire fighting equipment had been made before or have been brought in anticipation of a heated plenary today.   

Some of the firefighting equipment brought in at Parliament

10:10am: Police and army in running battles with Makerere University students. There are reports that students of Kyambogo University are also mobolising to march to Parliament.  

9:45am: Teargas fired into Halls of Residence at Makerere University. Despite the heavy police deployment, somehow the students demo spilled into neighbouring Kikoni areas. Several students have been arrested. 

Makerere University students arrested. Photo: NBS TV

9:30am: Police seal off Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) offices, City Hall. Deputy Lord Mayor Sarah Kanyike's office searched and nine activism T-shirts with inscriptions 'T'ogibukula' (Don't open the Constitution) confiscated.

Police says there will be no charge against Kanyike because the T-shirts were printed out of ignorance.  City councillors had planned to march from City Hall to Constitutional Square (City Square) to protest against the amendment. 

9:21am: Police foils Lira demo. Although the anti age limit amendment demonstration had not picked up, with residents seemingly interested but afraid to join in, police was quick to step in.

Police foils anti age limit amendment demo in Lira

9.20am: MP Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga) 'helped' by fellow MPs to access parliament. Police had issued an arrest warrant for the Member of Parliament after he failed to appear at police for interrogation earlier this week to explain his remarks about age limit amendment. Parliament police had attempted to block Ssekikuko from accessing the august House but were 'overwhelmed' by legislators. 

9am: African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) journalist, Lydia Namubiru arrested. She was arrested from Democratic Party's vice president Mukasa Mbidde's home in Makindye.

8:50am: Makerere University students planning to march to Parliament. Students not committed to the cause being 'forced' out of lecture rooms. Strike started at Lumumba Hall but police calmed the situation very fast. Teargas fired and some student leaders arrested. 

A placard calling on students to march to parliament

8:30am: Solitary protestor in Lira against age limit removal, a mocked-up coffin with inscriptions “REMOVAL OF PRESIDENTIAL AGE LIMIT IS THE DEATH OF OUR COUNTRY” placed next to burning car tyre in the middle of the road. 

A mock coffin against age limit
A solitary protestor, bold enough to protest on his own as other residents in Lira look on from a distance

8:10am: Kampala Mayor Erias Lukwago arrested from his home in Wakaligga in Rubaga Divison, he has been taken to Kira Division Police Station in Namugongo. Lukwago was arrested 'live' on TV. He was giving an interview to NTV's Morning@NTV show. 

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