Activists decry police cruelty, army takeover of Kampala


Police brutality on women is a deterrent for women participation in politics, according to human rights organizations, Foundation for Human rights Initiative (FHRI) and Women Leadership Development (WLEDE).

(FHRI) and (WLEDE) recommend that the security personnel desist from exercising excessive power over women engaging in politics as it is one of the deterrent for other women to actively participate in politics.

FHRI quotes as a recent report on the just concluded parliamentary elections, observing that although there was an increment of women contesting for direct constituency in parliament from 38 in 2011 to 91 in 2016 the number of female winners who will be in the 10th parliament has increased by only 1 member.

The number of female MPs on the direct seat has increased from 11 members to 12, says the rights body.

The human rights organization who observed the election process also recommend that the Electoral Commission should ensure that it is gender disaggregated to allow comparisons between male and female voters as it compiles voter data.

Political parties were also urged to put in practice their written policies that seek to support the active participation of women in party politics to achieve gender equality in politics beyond mere supporters.

Military should leave Kampala

Meanwhile, a coalition of 47 legal aid service providers has demanded that the army leaves Kampala streets to enable Ugandans freely go about their businesses and exercise their civic duties,

Under their umbrella, the Legal Aid Service Providers Network (Laspnet), the coalition says the continued deployment of soldiers on the streets gives the impression that the country is at war.“The army should be withdrawn from the streets so [that] there is that kind of freedom for people to express themselves and dialogue. Currently, people are grieving and they do not know how to express themselves,” Ms Sylvia Namubiru Mukasa, the executive director of Laspnet, is quoted as telling press in Kampala.

According to Namubiru, Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye cannot even be allowed to access his lawyers because of continued police deployment at his home.

Mr Samuel Nsubuga, the chairperson of Laspnet, is quoted by Daily Monitor saying many people are arrested and moved from one police station to another without being informing their relatives about the actual police station where they are detained.

Col Shaban Bantariza, the deputy executive director of Uganda Media Centre, said the military and police will not be withdrawn from the streets until the situation is safe from riots.

Human Rights Network for Journalists – Uganda (HRNJ-U), on the other hand decried the arrest of about 20 journalists for covering Besigye.

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