President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni issues new directives: Release and stop arrests of the ‘idle and Disorderly’
His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has instructed Police to release all persons under detention over “idle and disorderly” offences.
This follows the many complaints the President receives regarding the case.
So, yesterday he decided to issue a directive stopping police officers from arresting people for being idle and disorderly and also to release all men and women jailed for being idle and disorderly with immediate effect and discontinue prosecution.
President Museveni further ordered for the release of all arrested street vendors by KCCA enforcement officers in Kampala, who are still rotting in jail for failure to pay one million Uganda shilling fine with immediate effect.
However, President Museveni warned the vendors against repeating the same offence of trading on the city pavements.
Inspector-General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola who presented the president’s directive on Tuesday 1st, October 2019, instructed Police Directors and Regional Commanders to fully comply with president’s directive on this matter.
“By copy hereof, the Executive Director of Kampala City KCCA is also asked to comply with the directive of H.E. the President of the Republic of Uganda,” Ochola added.
The letter was as well copied to the minster of Internal Affairs. And this is not the first time president Museveni is ordering Police to stop making idle and disorderly arrests on Ugandans.
He once ordered Police and other security bodies to stop arresting people for being idle and disorderly on February 9, 2016.
He made the statement while addressing his supporters in Wakiso District, Nansana Municipality at Kazo grounds.
And then during the 2017 State of the Nations address, president Museveni recited that the order has never been implemented.
Wandering persons, gambling and prostitution are considered to be idle and disorderly activities and when convicted, one faces a maximum of seven years’ imprisonment, that’s for prostitution and to other offences, one is subjected to three months’ jail term or pay a fine of shs3,000 or both.
Uganda prison officers say, prisons are crowded today and most people in jails have simple offences causing unnecessary load on the scarce resources in prisons. And according to critics idle and disorderly offence, should be phased out, because it’s oppressive, out of mode since it was enacted during the colonial times.
Police officers have for years now been arresting people found relaxing anywhere, either at night or during day time claiming to be “idle and disorderly”.
Then after locking them in police cells, they begin demanding 20,000 or 50,000Ushs from the victims if at all they are to be released.
And sometimes the demand goes beyond 50,000Ushs depending on the Officer in Charge’s (OC) mood.