Age Limit: Police Disperses Students Protesting Minister Baryomunsi

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Police in Kabale on Sunday afternoon dispersed a group of students from Kanungu district that had convened to protest the way Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the Kinkiizi East legislator has been conducting his consultations on the proposed amendment of Presidential age limit.

Baryomunsi, who is also the State Minister for Housing was accused of consulting only selected leaders in the district about the controversial bill.

The students under their umbrella body of Kanungu Kabale Students Association (KAKASA) had converged at New Vienna Guest House in Kabale municipality.

A few minutes into their meeting however, anti-riot police commanded by the Officer-in-Charge of Operations at Kabale Central Police station Majid Alituha intervened and dispersed them.

Alituha accused the group of organizing a meeting without informing security operatives which is against the Public Order Management law requirements.

However, according to Elijah Twinomuhwezi, one of the organizers, their association has been holding fellowships without police knowledge or intervention.

“Our association which brings together all students from Kanungu has always held meetings to discuss issues concerning our general development. We did not see it necessary to invite police in our meeting when we have always met without them,” said Twinomuhwezi.

Earlier on, students in the meeting had started gathering ideas to formulate a petition to Dr. Baryomunsi on how they would wish him to conduct age-limit consultations.

Jacob Ampeire, another student accused Dr. Baryomunsi of considering a few people’s ideas and ignoring the majority of the residents.

“We were shocked to hear press reports that Kanungu residents had endorsed the amendment of Presidential age limits without consultations. All we heard was that Baryomunsi only consulted a few individuals yet the speaker instructed all MPs to consult the general public,” said Ampeire.

To Boaz Namanya, Dr. Baryomunsi should respect his electorate and consider their views important in these consultations.

“Kanungu’s views cannot be represented by a few individuals. We need him to come back and ask the local people,” said Namanya.

However, when contacted, Baryomunsi described the students as misguided.

“These students should concentrate on their studies instead of bowing to instructions from selfish people,” said Dr. Baryomunsi.

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