Age limit: Police foils anti-Baryomunsi youth meeting

The students accuse the MP of only considering a few people’s ideas at the expense of the majority.
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AGE LIMIT | KABALE

Police in Kabale district yesterday dispersed a group of students from Kanungu district who had convened to protest against Kinkiizi MP Chris Baryomunsi’s meetings aimed at popularising the age limit Bill.

Baryomunsi, is also the state minister for housing.

The students, under their umbrella, Kanungu Kabale Students Association (KAKASA), accusing the legislator of selective consultations, had converged at New Vienna Guest House in Kabale municipality.

A few minutes into the meeting, Anti-riot police, led by the officer-in-charge of operations at Kabale Central Police station Majid Alituha, dispersed the meeting.

Alituha said the students had organised the meeting without informing security operatives, which is against the Public Order Management Act.

One of the organizers Elijah Twinomuhwezi, however, said they have always held their meetings without Police interference. He wondered why now.

“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 the Police in our meeting when we have always met without them,” Twinomuhwezi said.

Students had started to formulate a general petition to Baryomunsi on how they want the age-limit consultations to be conducted.

Jacob Ampeire, another student, accused Baryomunsi of considering a few people’s ideas at the expense of the majority.

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

Another student, Boaz Namanya, said Baryomunsi should respect the electorate.

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

Other issues
In the same meeting, Students accused Baryomunsi of ignoring socio-economic challenges in the area.

“We were recently hit by famine, our road network is poor, our education system is crumbling and poverty is taking over our communities. Baryomunsi has not done much to help our people solve some of these problems,” Namanya said.

Baryomunsi responds
When contacted, Baryomunsi described the students as misguided.

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

He said he will not be guided by young people on how to consult his electorate

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