Crime & Investigation

Police: We’ll Not Allow Besigye-Lukwago Rally

order geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>On Friday, pharm Mukono Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze wrote to the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, notifying him about the public meeting.

“Following the submission of a report by the KCCA Tribunal 2013, we wish to hold a public meeting at which we intend to present the same to the public,” said Nambooze in a letter seen by Chimpreports on Sunday.

“On behalf of the organizing committee, I am writing to notify you of this meeting which will be attended by a cross section of leaders among whom are members of parliament, councilors, local and opposition leaders from across the country. The meeting will be held at Nakivubo Blue Primary School on Monday November 18th 2013, starting at 02:00pm,” she added.

Nambooze copied her letter to the Kampala Police Commandant, Andrew Kaweesi.

Contacted today afternoon, Deputy Police publicist, Patrick Onyango confirmed receipt of Nambooze’s letter, which he, however, said “falls short of requirements of the new Public Order Management Act.”


“According to Section 5, an organizer of a public meeting shall give notice in writing signed by the organizer or his or her agent to authorized officer of the intention to hold a public meeting, at least three days but not more than fifteen days before the proposed date of the public meeting,” said Onyango.

“But we received Nambooze’s letter on Friday. We need three working days to adequately prepare for such meetings. Our position is that we will not allow that function to take place,” he added.

He further said Nambooze did not provide written confirmation from the owner of the premises that they are willing to provide the venue for the opposition rally.

Onyango said Section 6 of the ACT gives Police authority to stop public meetings if they don’t fulfill requirements of the law.

It reads: “Subject to the directions of the Inspector General of Police, an authorised officer or any other police officer of the or above the rank of inspector, may stop or prevent the holding of a public meeting where the public is held contrary to this Act.

An authorized officer shall, in issuing an order for dispersal of the public meeting under subsection 2, have regard to the rights and freedoms of the persons in respect of whom the order has been issued and rights and freedoms of other persons.

The law also notes that a person who neglects or refuses to obey an order issued under this section commits an offence of disobedience of lawful orders.

The law was signed by the President a few months ago to facilitate Police in regulating public gatherings which were said to be a national security threat.

Critics said the law intended to deny opposition activists civil liberties such as the right of assembly to challenge the sitting government.

The opposition have since called protests as a response to the KCCA Tribunal’s ruling that implicated city Mayor Erias Lukwago on counts of misconduct, abuse of office and incompetence.

Lukwago has vowed not to go down without a fight, raising fears of possible clashes with security forces on Monday.

Recent confrontations between Lukwago’s supporters and police left a trail of bloodshed and destruction.

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