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Kadaga blocks access to Parliament from President’s Office

FILE PHOTO: Moments after Speaker Kadaga entered the House a day after September 27. She has today set out new rules of procedure to guide parliament ahead of the Age Limit Bill 2nd reading.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has ordered security organs other than the police to vacate parliament as tension rises ahead of the second reading of the “Age Limit” consitution amendment bill 2017.

Kadaga also asked police to seal off the hallway linking the President’s Office and parliament, saying it should not be used as an entry point by security officers into parliament as happened on September 27. She also read out new rules of procedure that require all parliament police to wear uniform and have name tags.

“All staff of the Parliament Police must wear uniforms at all times with their name tags displayed. The House is a civilian institution and should be guarded by the Police. All other security organs must withdraw from Parliament and go elsewhere,” Kadaga told parliament on Tuesday.

“All other security organs if you are in Parliament I ask that you vacate the institution.”

She added that,” I am directing the sergeant at arms to seal off the link between the President’s Office and Parliament.”

According to observers, the decisions by the speaker aim at showing Parliament is an independent institution following the fracas on September 27 when “sister security agencies” stormed the house to restore order after 25 suspended MPs refused to respect the ruling.

Fighting ensued then, as plain-clothes security operatives stormed parliament to help throw out the suspended but defiant Members of Parliament (MPs).

Kadaga later said she was not aware of the extra-security measures brought in by the Sergeant at Arms, and wrote a letter to President Yoweri Museveni questioning the move. The President  has not responded.

Age Limit not on order paper

With all eyes Tuesday on the second reading of the Constitution Amendment Bill, the Order paper only indicated it as an item to be considered later.

The “Age Limit” motion proposes constitutional amendments including changing article 102(b) to lift the age limit of 75 on the presidency. The move is seen as a significant step towards securing a free run for President Museveni to seek re-election in 2021.

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