President Museveni urges the police to stop arresting Ugandans who annoy or abuse him, its unlawful
President Museveni has called on his police officers to stop arresting citizens over charges related to disturbing or disorganizing his peace as the country’s leader.
While addressing a press conference on 18th July at the Nakasero state Lodge, Museveni said, that he is mindless about being annoyed and he doesn’t see why the police regard it a criminal case.
According to Museveni, this charge is archaic and was used by the colonial masters against Ugandans.
“I don’t mind being annoyed. I have no problem with being annoyed. That was a colonial charge that I used to hear about,” Museveni said, in response to the question being asked by journalists about the increased arrest of Ugandans who criticize him.
In the past, a big number of citizens have been arrested and confined in Prisons with charges based on speaking negative or use of insulting words and statements towards the President.
Of recent, Joseph Kabuleta was the latest victim of the charge of annoying the President when he was arrested by plain-clothed security operatives at Lugogo on Friday and detained at the Special Investigations Division in Kireka.
According to the Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga last week, the charged (Kabuleta) who was however released on police bond after spending four days in the cells had been arrested for ridiculing the President on social media by referring to him as a thief and gambler.
“According to preliminary information, the writer (Kabuleta) posted grossly offensive messages, under “Joseph Kabuleta Weekly Rant Returns” referring to the fountain of honour as a “Gambler, Thief and Liar”. Section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act, 2011
Notably, the Stella Nyanzi case is another incident anyone can remember, the former Makerere University research professional who is currently waiting for her court hearing on August 1, 2019, with accusations based on annoying President Museveni through her Facebook posts in which she criticized the President and members of the first family.
These together with many others are some of the incidents were individuals have been confined on issues to do with annoying or criticizing President Museveni.
Under section 24 of the Penal Code Act, it is an offence to alarm or annoys or ridicule the President and the maximum punishment for one found guilty of this offence is imprisonment for life.
Appropriately, section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act, 2011 calls for immediate attention to persons who willfully and repeatedly use electronic communication to disturb or attempt to disturb the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication – the offender is tasked to pay a fine not exceeding 24 currency points (Shs480,000) or imprisonment not exceeding one year or even both.
However, in the wake of these allegations, the President said that the police should put much focus on cases of sedition and inciting the public rather than charging citizens for annoying him.
“The bigger issue is telling lies, inciting and sedition. Those are the areas of substance that police should concentrate on,” stated Museveni.
Meanwhile, Museveni also promised that he will have a conversation with the police station to request them to concentrate on bigger issues.
By John Dalton Kigozi