Police has Monday vowed not to allow any political players to engage in any gathering disguised as consultations without its permission as stipulated by the law.
Fred Enanga, the police spokesman told press at Naguru, “As police we still closely monitor preparations for political consultations, we have noticed that some political actors and groups have released their programs for consultations online and through social media,” he said
According to the Enanga, some politicians have gone further to call delegates and supporters to take part in these consultations which are illegal.
“We would like to remind them that it is a requirement under the Electoral Commission guidelines for all aspiring presidential candidates to notify the police and the local councils where they plan to hold their consultative meetings,” he added
At the moment, police said they are closely monitoring all politicians who are planning to hold these meetings to ensure that they do not flaunt the set guidelines.
The law enforcement body also pointed out that based on recent experience, they noted that there was a huge negative impact of illegal assemblies where serious threats to public order and safety were witnessed in areas such as Jinja, Soroti and Kasangatti.
So as a result they have tasked all politicians and organisers to work with the police to achieve their objective of the public consultations like building their manifestos and fundraising arrangements.
“For us we are going to continue gathering intelligence on all potential risks concerning public safety. Already we have plans to respond proportionately in the case of any violence that arises where politicians going for these consultations decide to bypass police and go on their own,” said Enanga
“In case of any violent situation, of course we shall use like we have always done, we have tested this, we have tried this, we shall use whatever minimum but necessary force including the use of teargas to disperse and arrest some of the offenders who are not following the guidelines that were issued by Electoral Commission,” he added
All police territorial commanders have been reminded to train and equip officers in maintaining public order and ensuring that when carrying out arrests there is no excess use of force like the incident in Soroti which was quite disturbing.
Meanwhile, the officers in Soroti who used excessive force while querying down FDC supporters were charged and reprimanded and the commanders have since been told to refine their modus operandi countrywide and also developing effective plans of mobilising officers very fast within their territories across the country.
“We pledge to facilitate all lawful and call upon the public to work with us to ensure that such incidents where there are disruptions arising out of illegal processions and demonstrations they should be vigilant and report to us,” said Enanga