The President has so far had four addresses of which he progressively issues new directives to the public. I have been part of those challenging the legality of the directives in the absence of the Statutory Instrument by the Minister of Health. We kept pushing until the Statutory Instrument were issued on 24th March 2020. Will these act retrospectively? Those who ere arrested for defying the directives before the issuance of the Statutory Instrument by the Minister on Mach 24th 2020, what was the basis for their arrests? Isn’t this an an infringement of rights and a rape on rule of law especially Article 23 of our Constitution that bars any arrest of individuals in absence of any law demanding so?
Secondly, I have seen security agencies beat up people in Mityana, Busia and other parts of the country in the name of enforcing the directives. This is illegal and a violation of human rights as there is no law subjecting “offenders” to corporal punishment and the security agencies cannot also be the arresting officers, prosecutors and judges at the same time! I know it is a tough time that need tough measures but we cannot disregard rule of law and human rights in the name of COVID-19. I implore every citizen to adhere to the safety precautions issued and the rules set up by the Minister to avoid contact and spread of the COVID-19 but also call upon the security agencies to exercise their duty in accordance with the law otherwise they may face legal implications for violating the rights of individuals especially under the Enforcement of Human Rights Act and their common orders from above will not be a defense.
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