The violent incidents that have happened in the country since the passing of the motion to amend the Constitution to remove the presidential age limit does not augur well for Uganda’s peace and security.
The chaotic scenes that were witnessed in Parliament last week, the alleged threats on the lives of MPs supporting the removal of age limit and the simultaneous Tuesday night grenade attacks on homes of MPs opposed to the amendment, all point to a country standing on the edge of volatility. They portend more sophisticated violence and turmoil of extraordinary scale as we head to the debating of the Constitution Amendment Bill.
Many MPs supporting the lifting of age limit have alleged threats to them and in response, the State has given them police guards for protection. The assumption was that the threats were coming from people opposed to amending the Constitution and the State with all its security, law and order machinery, can contain the situation.
However, the grenade attacks on Opposition MPs’ homes by assailants carrying weapons that are ordinarily a preserve of security forces have taken the political tension in the country to another dimension. They point to State involvement and thus a likelihood of uncontainable and more sophisticated and unprecedented violence that could ruin all the gains we have made in the last 30 years as a country.
Uganda has had enough violence and bloodshed in the past.
The current NRM government tells us every day that they went to the bush to fight past regimes in order to stop state-inspired violence, restore and preserve constitutionalism. Don’t take us back to the Aminism era.
Confrontation or bloodshed to prove who is mightier cannot make us achieve these ideals or deliver Uganda to its national aspirations. The perpetuators of these attacks or threats must stop this madness. Further bomb attacks on perceived opponents of lifting of age limit could tip the already latent rage into full-scale explosion.
The actors on either side of the presidential age limit debate should desist from returning this country into its ugly past.
Let the pro and anti-age limit players in and outside Parliament exercise sobriety and listen to each other without fighting or physically hurting one another.
Let’s listen to the voice of the population too because they are the biggest stakeholders in this country.
Let’s listen to every rational mind on this subject and allow reason, rather than numerical or physical strength, to prevail in such a sensitive national matter.