As of Monday, police warned that they are ready to arrest any politicians found holding unlawful protests and processions due to the rise in commodity and fuel prices. The police warning comes nearly five days after FDC’s Col. Dr Kizza Besigye has been placed under house arrest.
The police Monday issued a warning to politicians that they will arrest anyone holding unlawful assemblies and processions due to the rise in commodity and fuel prices. We are already nearing the end of the five-day detention of FDC’s Col. Kizza Besigye under house arrest.
While responding to the arrest on Monday, Fred Enanga the police spokesperson said processions usually bring about disruptions in the flow of traffic, breach of peace, looting of shops and roadside market shops, mugging and theft of phones from bystanders and other provocative behaviours.
As a result, Enanga said for one to hold them, they should comply with the management act and notify the police at least three days but not more than 15 days before the proposed date of the meeting.
“As you are all aware, last week the police disrupted attempts by the Rtd. Col. Dr. Kiza Besigye, to hold unlawful assemblies and processions as a tool to manifest him discontent against the surge in commodity prices and fuel,” Enanga said.
“The use of illegal processions has a potential of massively disrupting the other rights of the community, through disruptions in the flow of traffic breach of peace, looting of shops and road side market shops, mugging and theft of phones from bystanders and pedestrians, running battles with security personnel and provocative behaviour like burning of tyres etc.”
This, he said Dr Besigye did not share any notice and thus contravened the provisions of the order Act.
“We therefore, wish to remind the Rtd. Col. Dr. Kiiza Besigye, that Section 5 of the Public Order Management Act (POMA), is still in force and requires all organisers of public meetings to notify the IGP, at least 3 days but not more than 15 days before the proposed date of the meeting.”
“The notice should indicate the date, time, location, size, purpose and other basic information which is justified, to ensure the smooth conduct of the assembly. It is therefore, unfortunate that he did not give any notice and thus contravened the provisions of the POMA,” Enanga added.
He further outlined that they will continue using all their powers and discretion in policing unlawful assemblies. He said all territorial commanders have been tasked to remain vigilant and work with political actors who keep their activities within the law.
Enanga also raised the commanders have been tasked to apply lawful and reasonable methods to disperse and disrupt unlawful assemblies.