By Mary Kisakye
KAMPALA–Women rights activists have decried the brutal manner female legislators were arrested and want the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, who they say masterminded the raid, to come out and apologize to the women.
The women activists who were attending a national dialogue reflecting on evolution of Ugandan women since independence used the occassion to castigate last week’s event on Parliament.
They said the raid demeaned women’s dignity as security operatives roughed up female legislators opposed to the removal of presidential age limit and bundled them onto police vehicles.
Gen Kayihura said he had ordered security operatives to restore calm in Parliament after the suspended legislators refused to heed to the Speaker’s directive to leave the House.
“We were angered by the manner in which female MPs were manhandled by security operatives. We don’t care whether it was SFC [Special Forces Command] or police but we demand for an apology from the commander of that operation,” said Fowode executive director Patricia Munabi.
Flavia Kalule Nabagabe, a women’s rights activist, said the actions of security operatives at Parliament retard the democratic and political achievements registered by the country.
“It painted a bad picture for women who would wish to join politics. You can’t see your colleague being pulled and manhandled and you venture into the same,” Kalule said.
Five female legislators who include Mukono Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze, Ms Angelina Osege, Soroti Municipality, Ms Judith Akello, Agago District Woman MP and Lucy Achiro Otim, Aruu North MP were roughed up by plain clothed operatives to the extent of being admitted to different hospitals.