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Residents Task DPC to Explain Selective Application of Public Order Management Act

Robert Ssekajiija, a resident of Kiwogozi zone in Luweero town said that in past, Police has used the absence of ambulances, fire brigade and manpower among other requirements, to block rallies and other gatherings in the area. He challenged the DPC to prove that the said requirements were fulfilled before the same dialogue was allowed.
DPC Ahmed Musakana responding to complaints from residents over selective application of the law

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Luweero District Police Commander Ahmed Musakana has faced a tough time defending the Police Force for alleged selective application of the Public Order Management Act.  

This was during a public dialogue organized by Hub for Investigative Media at Luweero taxi park, last evening. The dialogue, aimed at creating awareness on Access to Information in public offices was attended by Police Officers, the Chief Magistrate Samuel Munobe, the Resident District Commissioner Phoebe Namulindwa, Deputy Chief Administrative Jesca Ndagire, Local Leaders and residents. 

During the dialogue, residents asked Musakana to explain the criteria used to block or allow a public gathering, and accused the police of selective application of provisions of the Public Order Management Act.  

Robert Ssekajiija, a resident of Kiwogozi zone in Luweero town said that in past, Police has used the absence of ambulances, fire brigade and manpower among other requirements, to block rallies and other gatherings in the area. He challenged the DPC to prove that the said requirements were fulfilled before the same dialogue was allowed. 

Another resident Geoffrey Kaddu of Kasoma zone in Luweero said that over time, Political party leaders notify the Inspector-General of Police as the law provides but the District Police Commanders turn around and disperse their gatherings on flimsy grounds. 

Other residents questioned why the Police don’t provide the firefighting equipment and ambulances when a group applies for permission to hold a public rally, to ensure that meetings are held peacefully rather dispersing them.   

//Cue in; “Okwemulugunya kwenina… 

Cue out…Mu nkiiko endala.”//  

But Musakana said that some gatherings are blocked on the basis of intelligence reports that they may turn violent or don’t meet the requirements as the law stipulates. Musakana also acknowledged that others are dispersed on ‘orders from above’.

He added that the Police will continue to use force to disperse unlawful assemblies.   

//Cue in; “Why Police… 

Cue out…kyebakuwadde.”//      

Luweero Chief Magistrate Samuel Munobe asked the residents to respect the law since it was introduced to ensure there is order in society.   

//Cue in; “Naye ekikulu mu byonna…

Cue out…buzibu.”//    

Last year, the Luweero District Police Commander led a team of officers that dispersed a meeting convened by the Democratic Party inside Fatima Hall in Luweero town. 

Early this year, Police used teargas to disperse supporters of MP Robert Kyagulanyi when he tried to convene a consultative meeting in several places across the country. Several other opposition leaders have been arrested and other blocked from organizing meetings.

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