The Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura has today spent hours in a closed-door meeting with the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga as uncertainty looms over the controversial age limit debate.
This is the second time Kayihura is interfacing with Kadaga ahead of the much-anticipated debate on the controversial ‘Age Limit’ Bill that seeks to among others, to lift the cap on the presidential age from the constitution.
The first meeting held on Monday was also attended by the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) David Muhoozi and heads of other security agencies. Kayihura told Journalists that security had received intelligence information indicating that there was a plot to cause chaos in Parliament ahead of the ‘Age Limit’ debate.
He was making reference to a campaign by a group of opposition legislators who declared a week of activities to challenge the proposed amendment. In what was dubbed ‘Togikwatako red week’, the legislators had mobilized Ugandans to wear red throughout the week in protest of the proposed amendment of the Constitution. Red is now used as a colour of protest by opposition groups.
The members had also planned to mount a parade along Parliament Avenue on the day the report will be tabled before parliament for second reading. It was anticipated that the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee would table its report before parliament on Tuesday. However, the item is still listed as a business to follow on the order paper.
However, after today’s meeting, Kayihura declined to divulge details about the meeting and accusing journalists of invading his privacy. He questioned if it was erroneous to meet the Speaker.
The meeting, however, comes a day after Kadaga called for a review of the security detail at parliament in relation to a September 27 raid that saw plain clothed security personnel invade the parliamentary chamber.
The security personnel believed to be attached to the Special Forces Command (SFC) stormed parliament to eject 25 legislators who had been suspended for causing a standoff in parliament a day earlier. The forced ejection triggered a fight in which several legislators sustained injuries as microphone stands, cables and chairs turned into weapons.
In her directive, Kadaga demanded a list of all police officers deployed at parliament and directed that they all must don uniforms with name tags. She also directed that an access route linking the Parliament Building leading to the Office of the President be blocked with immediate effect.
Kadaga pointed out that the access on the fourth floor of parliament constitutes a danger to the precincts of parliament.