Court Stops FDC's Defiance Campaign Top story

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In short
The orders issued by Kavuma include no holding of further Tuesday prayers by the largest opposition party that has been on for over two months, no media house allowed to carry any such message of the Tuesday prayers and the countrywide May 5th peaceful demonstrations by FDC are also banned.

The Deputy Chief Justice, Steven Kavuma has stopped Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party and Dr. Kizza Besigye from carrying out their planned peaceful demonstrations from party headquarters to Nakivubo Blue Primary on May 5th 2016.

The demonstration was to show dissatisfaction with the outcome of the February 18th presidential election and as FDC demand for an independent audit.

The orders by the Deputy Chief Justice followed an exparte (one sided) argument of an application for interim orders by the Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana.
In his application, Rukutana said the act of carrying out the defiance campaign by Besigye and FDC with the aim of obtaining control of government of Uganda is inconsistent with articles 1 (1), 1 (3), 1 (4), 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the constitution.

The orders issued last evening by Kavuma include no holding of further Tuesday prayers by the largest opposition party that has been on for over two months, no media house allowed to carry any such message of the Tuesday prayers and the countrywide May 5th peaceful demonstrations by FDC are also banned.

Kavuma also ordered the constitutional court registrar to ensure that the orders of court are enforced.

The interim order is to last for the next four weeks as the constitutional court continues to hear the main petition. In the main petition No. 13 of 2016 in which the Attorney General VS FDC and Dr. Kizza Besigye, seeks for orders that the act of carrying out and conducting a defiance campaign and demanding for an international audit by foreigners as a means of challenging the result of the recently concluded presidential election is inconsistent with articles 1 (1), 1 (3), 1 (4), 2 (1), 5 (1), 62, 104 (1) and 4 of the constitution.

The main petition is backed by a sworn in affidavit of Christopher Gashirabake, the Acting Solicitor General. In his affidavit, Gasirabake says that FDC and Besigye conducted what they called a defiance campaign before, during and after the general election and mobilized supporters and the general public to reject the results of the election if Besigye was not declared the winner by the Electoral Commission (EC).

He adds that Besigye and FDC have conducted a campaign demanding an international audit of the election and the winner of the audit be declared the president of the Republic of Uganda.

"Owing to my training and experience as a lawyer, I know that the audit and the defiance campaign are inconsistent with the constitution", says Gashirabake. He notes that the result of the presidential election can only be challenged by way of a presidential election petition filed in the Supreme Court.

"I know that the second respondent (Besigye) after the decision of the Supreme Court on March 31st that declared a validly elected president, he has declared himself the winner of the recently concluded presidential election and that the defiance campaign is an act of obtaining control of the government of Uganda by unconstitutional means," Gasirabake added.

The Attorney General also attaches a photocopy of the FDC letter to his application that was written to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) dated 25th April. The letter was written by Kaija Herold-the Deputy Secretary General Administration FDC.  

In the letter, FDC was informing police about the intended demonstration across the country from the party headquarters in Najjankubi to Nakivubo Blue Primary as they demand for an independent audit of the result.

In the letter FDC was informing the police to provide them with security as they carry on with their processions. Polly Namaye, police's Deputy Spokesperson told URN that this request by FDC was rejected in a Thursday's police letter to FDC demanding for more details about the demonstration.

He says that FDC needs to provide police with the number of people expected, the time the event is expected to end and evidence that the management of Nakivubo Blue Primary okayed the activity.

Namaye also noted that FDC needs to explain the purpose for the demonstration citing that the independent audit of the election that is being demanded by the party is not provided for in the laws of the land. She also warned Ugandans not to participate in activities scheduled by FDC without police's approval and with the existence of an interim order from court.