In Uganda, Omoro district, leaders of the Democratic Party were on Thursday 8th 2019 blocked by security from addressing its party members.
The meeting was to be addressed by DP National leadership including President General Norbert Mao, Secretary General Gerald Siranda, National Chairman Mayambala Kiwanuka, National Youth Leader Christopher Okidi, National Youth and Women Secretaries Rita Nakyanzi and Franchesca Amony respectively.
Security officers led by the Esiru Acting Omoro District Police and David Asiu the District Internal Security Officer foiled the meeting on allegations of order from above and illegality.
A constant plead by the DP National Youth Leader Christopher Okidi partly turned violent with the DPC assaulting Okidi who was trying to explain the Public Order Management Act in regards to their meeting.
Gerald Siranda Blacks, the DP party secretary general on Sunday issued a statement that the party wanted to address its party structures as part of their two weeks long multi-layered tour intended to listen to her branches, build consensus around certain issues, and build capacity of her structures for leadership and mobilisation in the run up to the 2021 elections.
Siranda regretted why security should block a meeting which was legal even after the party officials made contact with relevant offices including the Prime Minister and Minister for Internal Affairs and the Inspector General of Police.
Security tactically delayed the meeting up to 4:00 p.m seven hours beyond the 9:00 am schedule, the venue at Omoro district council hall which is Omoro`s district head quarter was expected to be closed at 5:00 p.m.
Siranda condemned the security actions and described the behaviour as in bad faith, unconstitutional and confirms the popular view that Uganda Police is partisan and that security agencies are part of a complex network of President Museveni`s patronage.
‘’this behaviour of police is in bad faith, unconstitutional and confirms the popular view that Uganda Police is partisan and that security agencies are part of a complex network of President Museveni`s patronage.’’ The statement reads.
The party which also expressed worries for the political environment in 2021 threatened to take a stand firm by individually prosecuting errant police and security officials involved in hooliganism with the coming into force of the Human Rights Enforcement Act of 2019.
Read Statement in Full Here-under
PRESS RELEASE ON THE INCIDENT BETWEEN UGANDA POLICE AND THE DEMOCRATIC
PARTY IN OMORO DISTRICT.
The Democratic Party Leadership at the National Level has been
traversing the country in the past two weeks. This multi-layered tour
is intended to listen to her branches, build consensus around certain
issues, and build capacity of her structures for leadership and
mobilisation in the run up to the 2021 Elections.
The team which included the President General Norbert Mao, Secretary
General Dr Gerald Siranda, The National Chairman Dr Mayambala
Kiwanuka, National Youth Leader Christopher Okidi, National Youth and
Women Secretaries Rita Nakyanzi and Amony Francesca respectively had
successful meetings of branch leaders in the Eastern Region and in
Tochi County part of Omoro without much incident.
However on 8th August, 2019 as expected when part of the team led by
the Party’s Secretary General and National Youth Leader reached Omoro
District, police blocked their meeting which was scheduled to take
place at the District Council Hall in Lalogi starting from 9 AM, and
blocked over 180 participants from accessing the venue, although the
participants defied and remained hanging around the venue. The fact
that this was an (Inter Party Organisation for Dialogue) IPOD
supported meeting could not even help. The Acting District Police
Commander but substantially the head operations a one named Mr Esiru
and the DISO (District Internal Security Officer) named Mr Aisu David
who were the officers on ground said they were blocking the meeting on
the orders of the Regional Police Commander who said they were not
notified about the meeting even when the meeting by its very own
nature was an internal meeting exempted from notice under the very law
they purported to be enforcing-The Public Order Management Act, which
even has an harmonised interpretation commissioned by the Prime
Minister which they ignored. The Acting District Police Commander even
assaulted our National Youth Leader Christopher Okidi who gently but
assertively was trying to explain to them, that they were wrong in
their interpretation of the POMA in regard to the meeting.
It took up to 7 hours of protracted haggling involving the Office of
the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Office of the Inspector
General of Police for them to clear the meeting, which they did
tactically at 4 PM, knowing the venue has to be closed by 5 PM and in
their mind they had tactically failed the meeting. This behaviour of
police is in bad faith, unconstitutional and confirms the popular view
that Uganda Police is partisan and that security agencies are part of
a complex network of President Museveni’s patronage. Why this should
worry Ugandans even more is that in barely a year the country goes
into polls and this action presages what they should expect from
police in elections in 2021.
We condemn hooliganism by the Uganda Police, and as the Democratic
Party, we shall take a firm stand in addressing such hooliganism
including individually prosecuting such errant police and security
officials. Police should be aware that with the coming into force of
the Human Rights Enforcement Act of 2019, the landscape in policing
has changed, they now have to make a choice between upholding human
rights and orders from above with grave consequences, and they cannot
Dr Siranda Gerald Blacks
DP Secretary General