The US ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac has issued a statement on the way three-decade president Yoweri Museveni’s government is handling the age limit removal ‘bill’.
In a statement issued Thursday Malac said that the US was concerned about the arrests of politicians and activists opposed to the deletion of article 102b that puts the upper age limit at 75 years beyond which one cannot stand for president.
A bill for the lifting of the age limit is expected to be tabled by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi Thursday.
But the US is concerned by the attacks on civil society organisations and leaders that want the age limit to stay.
On Wednesday, Police raided raided offices of two NGOs: Action Aid in Kansanga and Great Lakes Institute For Strategic Studies in Ntinda, ahead ahead of Thursday’s tabling of age limit removal bill in parliament.
Thursday morning, Kampala lord mayor Erias Lukwago and scores of Makerere university students were arrested.
“The United States is concerned that recent arrests and raids stifle the Ugandan people’s right to free expression and tarnish Uganda’s global image,” said Malac.
She added that the US was “disturbed” by reports of raids and arrests and was worried that infringement on human rights would “impede development”.
“We call on the government of Uganda to gurantee all its citizens freedom of speech expression, and assembly, without fear of intimidation,” she appealed.