By Mike Ssegawa
US top diplomat in Uganda, Ambassador Deborah Malac has condemned the raids on Civil Society Organisations offices in Kampala on Wednesday. The ambassador has been joined by other voices including the leader of opposition in Parliament Winnie Kiiza, who has described the deployment around Parliament as an unprofessional conduct against members of Parliament.
On Wednesday, Action Aid Uganda and Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies offices were run over by police in search for unknown information.
Action Aid is an international organization while GLISS is run by Godber Tumushabe.
Amb. Malac has issued a statement saying the raids and arrests were efforts by the Ugandan government to stifle the right to free expression. She is concerned what is going on was tarnishing the image of Uganda globally.
Malac has called on the Government to guarantee all its citizens freedom of speech, expression and assembly, without fear of intimidation.
Meanwhile Ms Kiiza is incensed that members of parliament from the opposition and rebel ruling parties MPs had been blocked from accessing Parliament.
On Thursday, police had attempted to arrest Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo but was saved after fellow MPS formed a ring around him.
Kiiza says it is wrong for police and military to turn Uganda into a battlefield.
Police deployed around parliament and strategic parts of the Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso districts ahead of the anticipated tabling of a private members Bill by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi to amend Article 102 (b) of the Constitution which would allow President Museveni to stand for re-election beyond 75 years of age. The president is currently 73 and will be 77 in 2021 general elections.
The move has polarized the political divide.
Human rights defenders have also condemned the police operations.
The Foundation for Human Rights Initiative boss Dr Livingstone Ssewanyana says this was aimed at intimidating Ugandans especially CSOs.
He said those in support of lifting age limits are enemies of this country.