Following recent scuffles between four-time Presidential Candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye and security agencies in Jinja town, opposition members of parliament have responded.
While addressing a press conference at Parliament today, Parliamentarians bashed security agencies and Resident District Commissioners for colluding to deny opposition parties political space.
Hon. Francis Mwijukye the Buhweju county MP lambasted the army and police for continuously restraining the party from undertaking activities contrary to the law.
Mwijukye added that it was criminal of police to ask notification for party executive meeting.
“You have a registered political party and a party president is meeting district executive members. Police is saying that you must produce a letter from the IGP and the law is clear that such meetings are not defined in this law as public meetings. So we are saying that the police are abusing this law”, he says.
Mwijukye also lashed at Resident District Commissioners whom he accused of abrogating Uganda Communications Commission role of regulating air waves. He says that it was criminal of Jinja and Kabale district RDCs to order for the switching off of radios where Besigye was making a guest appearance.
“That is not their mandate, it is UCC that does that but it also does that on notice, they write to you. But you had an RDC in Jinja justifying his criminality”, Mwijukye adds.
He wondered why youthful supporters of National Resistance Movement also known as ‘Bazukulu’ are traversing the country undeterred.
The MP says if Police chief Martin Okoth Ochola has failed, he should simply resign.
Reacting on the same issue, Ssewungu Joseph Gonzaga the Kalungu West MP challenged the Uganda Human Rights Commission to find out if the Public Order Management Act is in conformity with International human rights instruments.
“Article 52 1 (a) gives UHRC the right to independently investigate abuses, it also has the mandate to investigate whether government is following this law. Unfortunately, they are in Nsambya in air conditioned rooms just bringing us books”, Ssewungu reiterates.
Ssewungu whose Democratic Party was barred from holding a reunion meeting in February in Jinja called upon stakeholders to document these abuses for future litigation.