Opposition decries Police heavy-handedness

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The Leader of the Opposition, Betty Aol Ocan, has asked Parliament to reign in on the Police for acting outside the law when they blocked activities organized by the Opposition. Aol said the Police blocked their activities including public rallies despite being informed in writing as required by the Public Order Management Act.

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“Leaders in the Opposition consistently try to comply with the law but the Police continues to frustrate them even when they comply with the regulations of holding public rallies. This has been happening all over, and we have been patient, but in pain,” said Aol.

Last week, Police blocked Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, from holding a public rally in his constituency, where he had invited several Opposition politicians. The MP was also prevented from leaving his Kira home.

“I visited Ssemujju’s home but my vehicle was blocked from accessing his house. After a lot of pleading, I was allowed to walk for the rest of the distance to his house,” said Aol.
“Ssemujju presented to me a letter he wrote notifying the Police about the rally he was to hold in Kireka on 16th November. Police acknowledged receipt on 12th November but wrote back to Ssemuju claiming to have received it on 15th November,” she said. She also recalled other instances where Opposition leaders had notified police beforehand only for them to go ahead and cancel the rallies under unclear circumstances.

Aol highlighted the blocking of Robert Kyagulanyi’s (Ind., Kyadondo East) musical concert from being held in Namboole even after incurring advertising costs; and the disruption of meetings by FDC Party President Patrick Amuriat Oboi in Mbarara and Kasese districts.
Aol warned that the human rights violations by the Police, if unchecked, would have dire consequences to the country.

Ssemujju demanded an explanation from government on why the military invaded his home, causing unrest to his family members whom he said have nothing to do with politics.
“My concern is the mistreatment of my family members. Military men descended on my house … I want government to explain the crime my family members committed to be subjected to such mistreatment,” he said.

The Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Mario Obiga Kania said he had not heard of the mentioned allegations and promised to investigate the alleged unlawful house arrest of the MP and his family members

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