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DP, NRM supporters clash in Lwengo over age limit

There were deadly clashes between opposition political party, the Democratic Party and the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party supporters in Lwengo district on Tuesday leaving several people injured. 

Trouble started after the DP supporters launched the anti-presidential age limit removal campaign codenamed 'Togikwatako' in Lwengo district.

As part of their campaign, the DP members led by Hakim Kizza, a youth leader held a consultative meeting in Kikenene village in Kisekka sub-county where they sensitized residents about the dangers of scrapping article 102(b) of the constitution, which restricts the president's age to be between 35 and 75 years.

NRM supporters arresting Hakim Kizza, one of the DP youths 

The campaign is in response to the Constitution (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2017 that was laid in parliament by the Igara West Member of Parliament Raphael Magyezi seeking to amend the article to scrap the presidential age limit. 

The bill has met stiff resistance from politicians across the political divide, civil society activists and ordinary residents. As a result, DP members in Lwengo have started holding sensitisation meetings to mobilise residents to reject the bill.

Kizza says they were sensitizing residents to reject the bill when a group of NRM members led by Musa Kalangwa, the bodyguard of the Bukoto South MP Muhammad Muyanja Mbabaali stormed their meeting venue and started clobbering them.

He says the attackers used electric cables to clobber them, injuring several people seriously. Kizza says one of their colleagues he identifies as Tony Nsibuka sustained a serious injury on the eye following an attack by Kalangwa. Musa Kalangwa says they were forced to beat the DP members because they are not known in the area.

After attacking the DP members, the NRM youths apprehended them and led them to the police station. Mbabaali, who is accused of inciting the NRM party members to attack the DP meeting hasn't yet commented as he couldn't be reached.
 
Donald Muhwezi, the Lwengo district police commander simply looked on as the clashes went on, saying he wasn't aware of the DP meeting. He refused to explain why police just looked on instead of stopping the clashes.
 
As the clash was going on, David Mafabi, the private secretary of the president on political affairs was meeting key officials and NRM leaders from greater Masaka region at Hotel Brovad Masaka to promote the presidential age limit bill. 

The participants included resident district commissioners from greater Masaka region, district internal security officers (DISOs) and NRM party leaders.