Opposition Attacks Police Over Red Ribbon Ban

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In short
Led by Winnie Kiiza, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, the MPs, condemned the police ban on the usage red headbands and ribbons, the symbolic tools of protest by those opposed to the amendment of Article 102 b of the constitution.

Opposition Members of Parliament have warned government against intimidating those opposed to the planned constitutional amendment for lifting the presidential age limit.

Led by Winnie Kiiza, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, the MPs, condemned the police ban on the usage red headbands and ribbons, the symbolic tools of protest by those opposed to the amendment of Article 102 (b) of the constitution.

The tools which first surfaced last week allegedly depict the willingness to shed blood in attempts to block the motion and safeguard the constitution. They have since been adopted as a symbol of protest by politicians, Civil Society Organizations and ordinary Ugandans against the planned constitutional amendment.

However, Police Spokesperson Asan Kasingye has warned the public against the use of red headbands and ribbons and threatened to arrest whoever is found donning them.

This morning, Parliament Police subjected legislators, staff and visitors to rigorous checks and confiscated anything red, found in their possession before allowing them access to parliament building. A few others were however able to beat tight security and entered the precincts of parliament with the ribbons.

"As a symbol of this resistance against violence, we only opted for the red ribbon; The red ribbon is not for war, it is to show that the issues happening in the country are for worse situations for this country," Kiiza said. She added that their use of red ribbons is also a form of resistance for debating under siege.
 
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Kiiza added that they are still determined to protect, defend and uphold the Constitution despite the intimidation.

"The red is a symbol of our resistance to bad governance, a symbol to our commitment to ensure that we protect and uphold the Constitution," Kiiza added before rallying Ugandans who still believe in the Constitution and think it is their duty to protect the Constitution to put on red.
 
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Although the much dreaded motion did not appear on today's order paper, opposition legislators say that they are watching closely to ensure that it is not sneaked into today's business.

They are now in a closed meeting to discuss means of countering all efforts by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi to amend the Article which caps the presidential age at 75.

The approval of the motion and later the constitutional amendment will see President Yoweri Museveni seek another term of office when his current term expires in 2021. Under the current provision, President Museveni, who was born in 1944, would not be eligible to contest for the presidency since he will be above 75 years of age.                                                            

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.