Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura has told The Observer that he will not allow leaders to take the age limit debate to tertiary institutions and villages.
Speaking to us on July 9 at Lake View Resort hotel in Mbarara, Kayihura said he had received intelligence reports that some opposition leaders are inciting youths, especially university students, to cause chaos, hiding under the so-called age limit bill.
“Age limit debate is strictly in parliament, but not in schools or villages. It is supposed to be debated in parliament and should be among MPs,” he said.
The police chief had travelled to Mbarara to meet security chiefs there following an incident where two students of Bishop Stuart University held a mock burial for President Museveni. By press time, the students in question, Abert Nangumya and Rodgers Asiimwe were still locked up at Mbarara Central police station.
Sources also told us that police is investigating reports that some opposition members had met some university students from western Uganda at a hotel and urged them to fight against plans to keep President Museveni in power beyond 2021.
According to our sources, the students were drawn from Bishop Stuart University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology and Kabale University.
On Wednesday, police arrested Robert Rutaro, an NRM youth leader, at Makerere University guesthouse where he had gone to address a press conference denouncing the proposal to amend the presidential age limit clause in the Constitution. He was briefly detained at Wandegeya police station. Rutaro is the leader of a group code-named UB40 whose aim is to oppose the amendment of Article 102 (b).
Meanwhile, during the meeting with security bosses, sources told us that Kayihura asked his commanders to strengthen their spy network in universities such that acts such as mocking the president do not happen again.
Kayihura instructed security personnel to work closely with the leadership of universities and students to keep law and order in and out of the campuses.
“It was an embarrassment to security to see students carrying the coffin with the picture of the president in Mbarara. It showed there is no intelligence network in Mbarara,” Kayihura reportedly said during the meeting.
The police chief also told police commanders to work closely with crime preventers.
“You must work with crime preventers in your areas to make sure that you block local leaders from discussing the age limit bill with residents because the bill has not been tabled in parliament,” another source quoted Kayihura as saying.
According to our sources, the meeting which was chaired by Gen Kayihura himself, was attended by Brig Paul Lokech, the UPDF Second Division commander, district police commanders from greater Mbarara districts, and intelligence chiefs from the sub-region.
BISHOP STUART SPEAKS OUT
In an interview with The Observer on Monday, Prof Mauda Kamatenesi Mugisha, the vice chancellor of Bishop Stuart University, said she will not allow the age limit bill debate at the institution.
“This university is built on religion, not on politics; so anybody who will be found discussing politics will be penalized accordingly,” she said.
She added that the constitution of Bishop Stuart University doesn’t allow politics, and that even when choosing students leaders, political parties are not considered. On students who mocked the president, Kamatenesi said they did it in their individual capacities because they are currently on holiday.
“When students are in their holidays, the university has no control over them,” she said.
But she said when they return from the holiday, the two could face disciplinary action.