A similar meeting that had been scheduled earlier to discuss the bill was postponed following disagreements amongst members.
President Yoweri Museveni has convened the NRM caucus meeting at parliament to discuss the contentious public order management bill. A party official who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity says that Museveni is meeting the caucus members to harmonize the party position on the bill before it is tabled and passed into law.
A similar meeting that had been scheduled earlier to discuss the bill was postponed following disagreements amongst members. It is alleged during the past meeting, Museveni expressed concern that the bill didn’t include stringent measures to deal with rioters. He reportedly argued that he was not ready to see the efforts of his regime to bring stability and economic prosperity put to waste by rioters. Today’s meeting, comes days after the Parliamentary legal affairs committee tabled its report before parliament.
But parliament delayed debate on the bill after Moses Ali, the Deputy leader Deputy Leader of government business requested for more time to come up with a position on the bill. The committee observed in its report that enacting a law prohibiting assemblies and gatherings would contravene Article 29 of the constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression and association. There was also uneasiness with provisions seeking to empower the police to stop an organizer of a public meeting for perceived security reasons.
Civil society organizations and human rights activists have rejected the bill. In October last year, cabinet introduced the Public Order Management Bill (2011) to provide for the regulation of public gatherings, prescribing the duties and responsibilities of the police, organizers and participants of such gatherings. After scrutinizing it, the committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs recommended that the bill be overhauled before being passed into law. Parliament is expected to debate the bill next week.
public order management bill 2011