Police Orders Commanders to Disperse Political Meetings in Homes
Police management has directed District and Division Police Commanders –DPCs to ensure all political meetings held in private homes.
Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, says police have noticed a continuous violation of the Public Order Management Act –POMA where politicians hold illegal political meetings in their respective homes or those of their allies.
Enanga said commanders in various areas must ensure that any meeting involving more than three people is policed in accordance with the provision of POMA or else such gatherings shouldn’t be allowed to happen.
City Lawyer, Erias Lukwago also Kampala Lord Mayor describes the directive as an abuse of the constitution and violations of the rights of people to associate. Lukwago reminds police that the Constitutional court pronounced itself that police have no authority to license public gathering but rather to provide security.
Harold Kaija, the Forum for Democratic Change –FDC’s Deputy Secretary General wondered why police would prohibit someone from holding meetings in public places and at the same time dispel meetings in private home. Kaija warned that what police is doing is likely to cause anarchy because politicians in the ruling party including President Museveni are not prohibited.
Enanga has also explained that police blocked the consultation meeting of Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine because he had not provided ambulances for his 2000 supporters who were anticipated to throng Our Lady of Good Counsel playground.
Police said Bobi Wine’s first consultative meeting fell short of guidelines such as holding meetings in an enclosed venue as directed by Electoral Commission. Enanga insisted that a playground was not an enclosed venue.
There were running battles between the police and people power supporters and police used live bullets and teargas to disperse them. Enanga said Bobi Wine and his team should emulate FDC and DP that recently met all the requirements of their meetings. Efforts to speak to People Power leaders were futile as its spokesperson; Joel Ssenyonyi was still locked up at Nagalama Police Station together with his boss.