There was drama at Parliament on Tuesday afternoon after two legislators from Arua district exchanged blows.

The fight stemmed from accusations by Arua Municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga, that Ayivu MP, Bernard Atiku, was peddling lies against him.

Abiriga, who was chatting with journalists at the South wing of Parliament, reportedly revealed that during a recent match of Onduparaka Football Club and accused Abiriga of fronting for the removal of presidential age limits.

Atiku reportedly stated that Abiriga and State minister of Investment, Evelyn Anite were Congolese and not Ugandans.

While Atiku ignored the statement, Abiriga further accused the MP of being stupid and a fool, a remark that stirred a knee jerk reaction. Atiku charged at Abiriga, who was dressed in a yellow, white and grey African print shirt with a yellow T-shirt inside, and punched him in the face.

Abiriga tried to retaliate but missed. At that point, a number of MPs who had walked out of the plenary sittings in the chambers rushed to the scene to separate the duo.

Among them were Ngora County MP, David Abala and Bukooli Islands MP George Abbot Ouma, plus a couple of police officers who blocked the MPs from continuing with the fight.

Once separated, Atiku marched off to the main parking lot where he got into his car and drove off.

While speaking to journalists, Abiriga claimed what Atiku had done to him was not a fight, warning that he would wait for him for a bigger fight.

He asked for several bottles of water to cool down, after which he also got into his car and drove away..

Meanwhile, Parliament will discuss a motion on the presidential age limit on Thursday.

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, says he received a notice from a Member of Parliament requesting to present a motion to the House to make some recommendations to government on the presidential age limit.

Mr Oulanyah says he spoke to the speaker, Ms Rebecca Kadaga on Monday morning on the motion and received a copy of the motion the same day in the evening signed by three legislators. He says a second notice of motion was presented to the Speaker from another member of the House on Wednesday morning.

However, Mr Oualnyah says all the motions relating to the age limit debate will not come to the floor of Parliament until when he meets the Speaker to discuss the notices on Thursday morning.
He says if need be, the Business Committee will be given time to meet and handle the matter.

Speaker Oulanyah, however, says the motions will be included on the order paper if it is decided by the authority of the speaker. He cautions legislators against exciting the public on the matter.

Last week, about 240 MPs aligned to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party endorsed a proposal to repeal Article 102 (b), which restricts the presidential age to be between 35 and 75 years.

The move is allegedly aimed at paving way for President Museveni to seek another term of office since he will be above 75 years in 2021.
On Friday, Cabinet also endorsed a proposal by the Igara West MP, Mr Raphael Magyezi to table a private member’s bill on the floor of Parliament on the matter.

The debate on the presidential age limit has raised concern across the country leading to protests by a section of Ugandans against the proposed amendment.

On Monday, police picked up 14 youth activists belonging to group dubbed “The Alternative” for staging protests against the proposal.

Police have also summoned four legislators including Mr Muhammad Nsereko, Mr Barnabas Tinkasimire, Mr Theodore Ssekikubo and Mr Allan Ssewanyana, some of the legislators opposed to the lifting of age limit, for allegedly inciting violence.