The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) has come out to distance itself from involvement in the ongoing political debate on the proposed lifting of the Presidential age limit. This follows comments made by the State Minister for Privatization and Investment Evelyne Anite to the press on Thursday claiming that proponents of the controversial amendment had the backing of the army.
Anite who was retaliating to threats from critics of the proposed Bill implied that the NRM being the ruling party had the might to fight its opponents including using the UPDF.
“I want to make it clear to them [critics]. You cannot intimidate a ruling party,” Anite said at a press conference held by NRM MPs who are pushing for the removal of the constitutional age 75 limit.
“For us we don’t go looking for support. We are the party in government, we have the support of the majje (army),” the Minister added.
She further told journalists that as Members of Parliament, they are legally mandated to debate on such an issue and that they would amend the constitution even ten times if need arose.
However, when contacted by this site, the UPDF Spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire disregarded the Minister’s statements saying the army does not meddle into partisan issues.
“The UPDF has established structures and 10 Members of Parliament through whom it can make its views known when necessary,” Brig Karemire said.
“UPDF shall always remain non partisan as per article 208 (2)of the Constitution,” he added.
Anite’s comments have since caused a storm on social media with Ugandans backing the UPDF spokesman’s response and resenting the minister’s regrettable utterances while others condemned her for intimidating the masses. This isn’t the first time the former Youth MP has been widely criticized for making shocking statements.
Evelyne Anite emerged to the national political scene in 2014 when she knelt down during an NRM caucus in Kyankwanzi to request party members to endorse President Museveni as the sole party candidate for his fifth term.