Crime & Investigation

PROTESTS: Security Arrest FDC Youth Leaders

sildenafil geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>“While we have no problem with anybody organizing demonstrations, stuff as it is a constitutional right and freedom, cure such demonstrations, as, indeed, exercise of rights and freedoms, must be within the law. Our problem with the announced demonstrations by 4GC is that they are not within the law,” Police boss Gen Kale Kayihura said in a statement seen by Chimpreports on Wednesday morning.

FDC Publicity Committee member, Francis Mwijukye said Police has so far detained several youth leaders who include Rajab Kaya, Robert Kisekwa and Amza Luwaga.

The opposition party’s deputy Electoral Commission boss, Michael Kabaziguruka, was also picked by detectives after appearing at Kiira Division Police Station on Tuesday to check on Dr Kizza Besigye who was in detention there.

The arrests followed announcements by 4GC leader Mathias Mpuuga that the group would hold countywide protests starting Wednesday morning to “show solidarity with the striking city traders” against a new government programme requiring pre-shipment inspection of imported goods in the countries of origin, before they enter into the Ugandan market.

Traders especially in downtown Kampala on Tuesday closed their shops over the new importation rules introduced by the Ministry of trade. They claim the system which comes with new taxes is “exploitative.”


But Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde says the rules are intended to stop counterfeit products from flooding the Ugandan market

Kayihura urged the public to “Identify trouble makers, especially those threatening traders; places where used tyres are being stored for burning to block roads; or vehicles transporting and distributing such tyres; or any other suspicious individuals, groups or activities.”

He added: “To begin with, 4GC is unlawful society by virtue of the fact that it replaced A4C, which was declared an unlawful society by a Declaration Order, under section 56 of the Penal Code Act. S. 56(3) states that where a society is an unlawful society, and another society is formed having the same office bearers as the unlawful society, having a similar name, or substantially the same membership, such society shall be deemed to be an unlawful society”.

The Police boss maintained “there is no doubt that A4C and 4GC fall into the category provided for in s. 56(3) of the Act,” adding, “therefore, organizing and participating in activities of 4GC constitutes criminal offences.”

The Act creates offences of unlawful assemblies, riots, and other offences against public tranquility.

“We are aware that, sometime back, members of 4GC took the matter to the Constitutional Court, in Constitution petition No. 41/2012 in which they challenged the powers of the Attorney General to declare unlawful societies under the Penal Code Act,” elaborated Kayihura.

“This in itself shows that they acknowledge that s. 56 of the Act is an existing and valid law, only they disagree with it. Accordingly, therefore, they should be consistent and recognize that conducting themselves as 4GC, which was declared an unlawful society under the Act, makes them criminally liable.”

Kayihura further observed Police was not notified of these demonstrations, and has not cleared them to take place.

But opposition leaders say they are not mandated to seek permission from Police to hold public rallies and protests.

The police boss’ statements signal rising tensions and possible clashes between security forces and activists today.

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