Bruce Kyerere, President Uganda Law Society is accusing police of misusing the constitution to clamp down on civil liberties.
He cites the use of section 32 (2) of the Police Act that was over ruled by the constitutional court in the case between Muwanga Kivunmbi versus the Attorney General in 2005.
He says that in the ruling, Judges of the constitutional court noted that it is not justifiable for police in a free and democratic society to in any way interfere with the enjoyment of the rights enshrined in article 29 of the constitution.
Kyerere says that police has to balance its constitutional duty to maintain law and order with citizen’s right to peaceful assembles.
He says that it was wrong for the Inspector General of Police Maj. Gen Kale Kaihura to oppose political leaders who were participating in the walk to work protest.
He says that article 38 of the constitution gives Ugandans the right to participate in peaceful activities to influence policies or to challenge some actions of the government.
He urges Parliament to balance between the interests of the citizens to enjoy their rights and the need to have a framework on how people should be guided to enjoy their rights in the constitution. This will ensure the police do not act arbitrarily.
//Cue in: The constitution…”
Cue out:…of the govt.”//
The Uganda law society condemned the brutal manner in which the police acted and bundled up people in their trucks arguing that the circumstances did not warrant arrests or charges.
Kyerere challenges the police to cite which particular law the arrested persons contravened for them to be liable for arrest in a dehumanizing and unlawful manner.
Despite numerous repeats by the IGP asking the opposition to seek permission to assemble, Kyerere says the police have absolutely no power to give permission for anybody to demonstrate.
//Cue in: I would want…”
Cue out…or to demonstrate.”//
However this afternoon, Asan Kasingye, the Assistant Inspector General of Police told journalists that they will allow the walk to work protest to take place as planed because police has not received any notification from the organizers.
Kasingye says the walk will affect traffic flow in the city and its suburbs.
Kyerere urges the opposition to pay due regard to the other citizens who are not participating in the protest and avoid provoking state security inspite of their right to assembly.
He revealed that they are seeking for a dialogue between the IGP, the Chief Justice and the Human Rights organization and educate the Police on how best they can handle demonstrations instead of blocking citizens from enjoying their constitutional rights.
Members of the opposition will for the second time this week walk to work in protest against the runaway inflation in the country.
uganda law society
misuse of constitution
inspector general of police