Opposition Members of Parliament have demanded and evaluation on the Public Order Management Act since it has been violated by security forces that have interfered in their political rallies.
The Legislators have also called upon Uganda Human Rights Commission to come out and condemn the manner in which police conducts itself in stopping consultation meetings by opposition politicians.
Several times, the police has stopped opposition politicians from conducting their political gatherings on claims that they did not adhere to the recommendations given to them by the police.
Over the weekend, the Police invaded the studios of Kiira Radio, a local radio station in Jinja which had hosted ‘People’s Government’ president Col Dr Kizza Besigye and ordered the radio to be switched off. It also arrested his team, including Forum for Democratic Change president Patrick Amuriat.
This sparked chaos in Jinja town as police fired teargas at FDC supporters.
Also, on April 11, Police under the command of ASP Rogers Chebene, the District Police Commander of Tororo arrested Amuriat and rushed him to jail, claiming that he was not supposed to be in the district. Earlier, Police had blocked the Democratic Party (DP) reunion at Jinja Rugby Grounds and arrested party president Norbert Mao yet a gathering had been authorized.
Following the increased violence by the police, opposition legislators on Monday held a press conference and wrote a proposal requesting other MPs to join hands and allow the entire House to revise the Public Order Management Act.
Buhweju County MP Francis Mwijukye blamed police for actively practicing impunity to the people, yet they are supposed to protect them. “It is very unfortunate that even in hired conference rooms, police intervenes even if it’s not a rally. They have blocked political party leaders from holding their party meetings,” said Mwijukye.
Police deputy spokesperson Polly Namaye, she said the opposition has on many occasions ignored the procedures given to them by the police.
“We all have the same goal in this country and that is peace, but if we don’t cooperate we shall miss the point on how we can build this country. Many times opposition violates our recommendations, and if you do that we have to react in order to protect others,” Namaye told Watchdog Uganda.
Namaye accepted that they always get letters from the opposition and the police Legal Department has always replied to them with conditions to meet.
“At times we get their requests but also there are many times we have not been informed about their gathering,” she added.
However, Mwijukye said the Act gives them authority not to inform police in case the political party is going to do what it was registered for.
“At times we don’t need permission from police because Section Four 2B and E of this Act exempts political parties and registered organizations from seeking permission even notifying police so long as they are doing what they were registered for,” added Mwijukye.
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