MP Ogwal – police have become agents of violence in the ongoing Age-limit consultations

BY ISAAC OTWII:

The parliamentary commissioner who also doubles as the woman area Member of Parliament, Dokolo district has said members of parliament who are opposed to the removal of age limit are being discriminated from having peaceful consultation meetings

Cecilia Atim Ogwal while addressing a press briefing at her home in Lira town on Friday said it has emerged that police have become agents of violence against the meetings that are against the removal of age limit, even in places of peaceful meetings.

“It is very clear from the process of consultation which is going on all over the country, that it is actually the police which have become the agents of violence even if people are having peaceful meetings. You find that police suddenly just bust in the gathering and starts beating up people, firing teargas and brutalizing people.” Said Ogwal

However, she maintained that it’s a high time that the government has to listen to the people, be tolerant and give equal opportunity to everybody to consult.

Ms Ogwal said according to  the police statement provided to them as a guide only protects those presumed to be supporting the age limit removal from being intimidated but does not have any clear protection on people who are against the bill.  She said the current situation reflects that the government is only interested in getting a one sided view on the age limit removal.

“The police statement which we have been given to guide members of parliament, it says that; in the process of consultation anybody who is presumed to be supporting removal of age limit should not be intimidated, which means if you are presumed to be against the removal of age limit, you must be intimidated, and that’s what it says.” Ogwal explained

She said the current discussion on age limit removal has caused a lot of hatred in the community.

“What is now happening is that people are sharply divided on ethnic ground, on tribal ground, on ideological ground and this is not necessary at this time.” Said Ogwal