Age Limit: Besigye Walk-to-Work Protests Resume Tuesday

Uganda’s opposition kingpin Dr Kizza Besigye has announced he will resume walk-to-work demos in protest of a motion to lift the presidential age limit to allow three-decade president Yoweri Museveni stand for reelection beyond the age of 75.

Besigye, Museveni’s bush war doctor, has challenged his former boss four times – all unsuccessfully.

After the 2011 election, Besigye launched walk-to-work demos in protest of the high costs of living.
Some nine people were killed in the scuffles between security forces and protestors.

Besigye was hospitalised after being pepper-sprayed directly in the eyes, by a police officer identified as Gilbert Arinaitwe Bwana.

Besigye told reporters Saturday at his office on Katonga Road in Kampala that the protests would resume Tuesday.

He called upon Ugandans who drive to work to leave their cars at home at least once every week in protest against deletion of the presidential age limit from the constitution.

“Leave your vehicle at home and go by the (public) means. Go with a boda boda, or a bus or a taxi … It would be good on such a day to see only public vehicles, of course with some emergency transport, ambulances, fire attendants,” Besigye said

According to the opposition leader, it is time for the elite to show solidarity with the rest of the population.

“The question must go to the elites whether they are with us. That ‘who is with us’ is the next question. We recommend that one day a week that those of the elite who stand with the people should move with them,” he added.

The age limit removal motion remains largely unpopular according to an Afrobarometer poll.

University students and politicians have protested the age limit removal plot.

Some 24 MPs opposed to the motion – that could make Museveni a life president – were suspended from Parliament on Wednesday after singing down the age limit motion.

The suspended MPs are expected to join Besigye in Tuesday’s protests that are likely to put businesses in Kampala and Wakiso to a standstill.

Marion Ayebazibwe