Police has ransacked the offices of Action Aid International in the Kampala city suburbs of Kasanga. A top official at Action Aid told our reporter that about 20 police officers stormed their offices at 5:05pm on Wednesday evening, saying they were under instructions to close the premises.
The Police officers reportedly took charge of the premises and stopped all employees from leaving before they started ransacking the offices. The Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Emilian Kayima, said he wasn’t aware about the raid, since he hadn’t been briefed.
Police later presented a search warrant issued by the Makindye Chief’s magistrate’s court allowing them to search the Action Aid premises. In his application for the search warrant, Henry Peter Walya, an officer attached to the Criminal Investigations Department, said that it had been brought to his attention that the Action Aid offices were being used for illicit transfer of funds for unlawful activities.
“Based on this reasonable suspicion there is need for a search to be conducted on the said premises,” reads Walya’s affidavit. Adding that, “the basis of this search is to obtain evidence and information concerned the said allegations levelled against the said premises.”
The police raid on the Action Aid International premises comes at a time when tension is building in Uganda ahead of the proposed scrapping of the presidential age limit from the constitution.
Action Aid International is yet to issue a statement on the raid. Last week, a group of legislators under the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party resolved to table a proposal before parliament seeking to scrap article 102 (b) of the constitution, which restricts the presidential age to between 35 and 75 years of age.
The move is aimed at paving way for president, Yoweri Museveni, who will be 75-years of age in 2021, to seek another term in office. Museveni has been president since February 1986 when he stormed Uganda’s capital Kampala with his National Resistance Army rebels following his five year bush war.