Twenty four women activists from Uganda’s civil society were today arrested near the National Theater where they were planning to march to parliament to deliver a petition opposing a bill which proposes to extend the retirement age of judges.
They were taken to Kiira police station. No charges have been preferred against them and they have been released.
The march had been organised by their umbrella body Women for Uganda. The women, led by the program director of Centre for Constitutional Governance Sarah Bireete, said that the bill to be tabled on Wednesday “is a disguised attempt to smuggle into parliament a plan to amend article 102 of the constitution for the purpose of removing presidential age limit.”
Set to table the private members bill for constitutional amendments is Nakifuma Mp Eng. Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleeko.
Bireete says what Uganda needs are comprehensive constitutional, political, social and electoral reforms as contained in the citizens’ compact on free and fair elections that was submitted to the 9th parliament ahead of the 2016 elections.
Among those involved in the march, dubbed #katibaHakunaMchezo, was former Uganda ambassador to the US Edith Ssempala, former ministers Dr. Miria Matembe and Joyce Mpanga, the executive director for Foundation for Human Rights Initiative Sheila Muwanga, Jessica Nkuhe from ISIS Wike, Robinah Rubimbwa from the Center for Women in Governance, Bana Bakidde from FIDA , former parliamentary candidate Olga Ajiri among others.