On Tuesday, the Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola released a statement indicating that the President had directed Police officers not to arrest people for the crime of idle and disorderly.
City lawyer Male Mabirizi has dragged the government to court
challenging President Yoweri Museveni’s directive to release suspects arrested for being idle and disorderly.
On Tuesday, the Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola released a
statement indicating that the President had directed Police officers not to arrest
people for the crime of idle and disorderly.
Museveni demanded that whoever is already in custody for the offenses
should be released immediately and prosecution discontinued.
President Museveni further directed that all the
people arrested by the KCCA enforcement officers in Kampala and are in
prison for failure to pay a fine of 1 million shillings be released immediately.
In an application filed on Wednesday in the High Court Civil Division,
Mabirizi wants court to quash the directive on grounds that it’s illegal,
unreasonable and defeats common sense since the offence of Idle and disorderly
has never been repealed from the Penal Code Act.
According to Mabirizi, President Museveni should have gone to Parliament
such that the law is discussed is scrapped from the Penal Code.
He notes that the constitution states that the IGP, the courts,
Directorate of Public Prosecution-DPP are supposed to work under the laws
adding that the directive from the President is a matter of Policy but not
Mabirizi further adds that if President Museveni was to pardon
someone, he has to act on the advice of Prerogative of Mercy Committee where
the procedure is that the committee advises him on whether a certain convict
should be pardoned or not.