Five Lango MPs hospitalised after 'age limit' fracas


Five Members of Parliament from Lango sub-region were hospitalized for injuries they sustained as police dispersed a consultative meeting on the presidential age limit organized in Lira town on Tuesday.

The MPs who include Charles Angiro Gutumoi (Erute North) Jonathan Odur (Erute South), Cecilia Atim Ogwal (Dokolo), Joy Atim Ongom (Lira) and Sylvia Akello (Otuke) fainted after inhaling teargas which was used to disperse crowds at the rally.

They are admitted at Lira Medical Centre.

All the MPs are in stable condition except Sylvia Akello, the Otuke Woman MP who was still unconscious.

Akello was allegedly kicked several times during the fracas by Joel Tubanone, the Lira District Police Commander who commanded the operations.

The MPs complained of general body pains and weaknesses.

Joy Atim Ongom, the Lira Woman MP had convened the consultative meeting at Adyel Division Headquarters Playgrounds in line with a police directive that only allowed the area legislator to convene such a meeting.

All was well until she was joined by her colleagues on the stage, forcing police to disperse the crowd. The officers fired tear gas and live bullets to disperse the group.

More than 1, 000 residents had already signed a petition, saying no to the proposed scrapping of article 102 (b) of the constitution, which caps the president's age at 75.

Felix Okot Ogong, the chairperson Lango Parliamentary group condemned police action arguing it was uncalled for.

Okot claimed they got clearance for a joint consultation from the Office of the Prime Minister and the ministry for Internal Affairs and wondered why police in Lira acted that way.

Okot appealed for calm saying they will communicate their next course of action soon.

The dispersal of the consultative meeting came after police blocked a joint consultative rally by the legislators who had drawn up a plan that would take them through the eight districts in Lango region.

The team which started in Lira on Tuesday would head to Dokolo district on Wednesday, October 25 followed by another consultation meeting on Otuke on Thursday, October 26, Oyam on Friday, October 27, Kole on Saturday, October 28 and Erute South on Sunday, October 29.

However, John Peter Ematu, the North Kyoga Regional Police Commander, said they had received instructions from the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura to block the joint consultations.

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