A top member of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), Capt Mike Mukula, has expressed his disappointment in the country’s police force.
Mukula, the Soroti Municipality MP said he was disappointed by the way Uganda Police responded to Mbabazi consultative meeting at Soroti sports grounds in Soroti town yesterday.
“I am disappointed by the police response to the rally in Soroti…this could have been handled maturely,” said the former state minister of health.
Mukula was recently quoted saying Amama is still their brother as ruling party members but should reconcile with the party chairman, President Yoweri Museveni.
Opposition and civil society have also condemned the manner in which Amama was teargassed yesterday after police allowing him to go ahead with his meeting.
FDC flag bearer Kizza Besigye said now anyone who challenges Museveni risks and arrest and imprisonment.
Police defends itself:
This is what police spokesman, CP Fred Enanga, said in response what his officers did in Soroti.
Following the Electoral Commission’s Election Roadmap, general guidelines were issued to all Presidential Aspirants seeking to conduct consultative meetings in preparation for nominations.
The guidelines are consistent with the provisions of Sec. 3 of the Presidential Elections Act, 2005, which clearly enjoins aspiring candidates to carry out consultations through meetings with national delegates, on how to raise funds for campaigns through lawful means, in preparation of the manifesto and other campaign materials as well as carrying out nation-wide consultations; in preparation for nominations.
It has however, been noted with serious concern that individual aspirants have failed to fully comply with these provisions of holding consultations in confined spaces, and instead seen to be holding rallies and mass meetings which are prohibited actions.
It is against this background that the Police which has the primary responsibility of ensuring lawfulness and orderliness of all electoral events including consultative meetings has intervened in line with the electoral security coordination plan to stop aspirants violating these electoral provisions.
Today, 9th September, 2015, the police blocked and dispersed a public rally by the Hon. John Patrick Amama Mbabazi at Soroti Sports grounds after it was found to be in violation of the law.
He however, went on to hold a town hall meeting with his delegates and supporters at Soroti Town Hall in adherence to the guidelines issued by the Electoral body.
For clarification, what took place within the FDC party was not within the context of Sec. 3 of the Presidential Elections Act and should not be confused as a consultative process but a lawful process to determine the party flag bearer that was managed under the provisions of the Public Order Management Act.
The Police shall continue applying the laws to anyone promoting conflict within the electoral laws to minimize the risk of violence and to also ensure all aspirants follow logical steps laid out in the Electoral Commission Elections Roadmap.