Police have angrily rubbished reports that the law enforcement body is hell-bent on undermining presidential hopeful Amama Mbabazi’s anticipated candidature, describing the claims as “false” and “misleading.”
The institution has lately been accused of jailing Mbabazi’s supporters and blocking his consultation meetings which the former Prime Minister insists are lawful.
“The media has continued to publish reports from the camp supporting Hon. Amama Mbabazi that are false and aimed at misleading the public, ” said police publicist Fred Enanga in a strong-worded statement on Monday night.
“The Police have been consistent in explaining that nobody is against Hon. Amama Mbabazi’s bid for the presidency as long as this is done within the law,” he added.
Enanga explained today that, “It is the responsibility of the police for enforce the laws of Uganda as well as maintain peace and security.”
He said, “While the Constitution grants rights and liberties to be enjoyed by all Ugandan, the manner in which this is done must be in compliance with the law.”
The police spokesperson expressed shock that “Hon. Amama Mbabazi as well as Col. Kiiza Besigye are alleging that the Inspector General of Police in particular and the police in general are partisan,” adding, “This is a distortion of the facts. Enforcing the law as it is should not be interpreted as being partisan.”
According to Mbabazi, the Inspector General of police who tries to stop him from exercising his rights to assemble is contravening the Constitution and will sometime be held accountable for such actions which he said can’t be allowed to go on.
“The Public Order Management Act has no problem and they (police) will be held accountable for violating the law because there is nothing like following orders but only what the constitution says. Everyone is supposed to comply with the law and not following orders,” Mbabazi said in reply to Gen Kayihura’s letter stopping him from proceeding to Mbale last week.
Mbabazi insisted that neither police nor the Electoral Commission have authority to stop him from the scheduled consultative meetings as these are not open campaigns but rather meant to find out if he can stand for presidency.
However, Enanga today said, “In the case of Hon. Amama Mbabazi it is clear that he is seeking the presidency under the umbrella of the NRM party. The party has come out to state that Hon. Amama Mbabazi has a right to contest but should contest within the laws and regulations of his party as well as follow the road map that his party’s Electoral Commission has put up.”
Regarding Police’s decision to give a green light to Besigye’s meetings, Enanga revealed that the police has been engaging with the Party’s officials on this matter.
“The meetings (Besigye’s) did not comply with the provisions of S.5 of the Public Order Management Act and so could not be allowed to proceed. But more critical is the fact that the purpose of the meetings was not clear. It was an individual member of FDC who gave notice to the Police in respect of one candidate,” said Enanga.
“An interface with the relevant FDC officials reached a consensus where it was agreed that communication should be made by the chairperson FDC electoral commission explaining the purpose of the meetings and attach the program of activities in respect of the two FDC candidates competing to be the Party’s flag bearer,” he added.
“Having done this on Friday last week (10th July 2015) the Party has been cleared to proceed with the meetings with effect from the 14th July 2015. We thank the FDC leadership for their compliance with the law.”