Uganda police has strictly warned the new opposition pressure group, the People’s Front for Transition (PFT) not to hold any meeting without permission from police and the Ministry of Health.
Last week a section of opposition led by Dr. Kizza Besigye launched a new pressure group that they said is the new front to oust President Museveni from power.
However according to police, this would soon launch a series of activities in various parts of the country through conducting meetings.
While addressing journalists on Monday, police spokesperson Fred Enanga said they must seek permission since the meetings are against the guidelines put in place to control the spread of Covid-19.
“Although it is a fundamental for Ugandan to peacefully assemble, all meetings and assemblies are still restricted under the public health orders that in place due to existence of Covid in the country. We will only respect the right of people to assemble only if they have the full proof of their clearance from the Ministry of Health,”Enanga said.
Enanga also added that they will need proof of their peaceful means while holding their meetings through observing SOPs and public Order Management Act.
“We shall also need proof of their peaceful means through observing the provisions of the Public Order Management Act. Yes section 8 on the powers of IGP authorized officer was suspended but other provisions of the law on notice of public meetings by authorized officers still stand,”Enanga said.
He noted that before any meeting is cleared to go on, the organisers must on top of the clearance from Ministry of Health show proof of clearance from the venue, traffic plan, time, location and any other details of the planned meeting.
“It is their duty to inform police of the date, time, location and consent of the venue, number of persons and purpose of the meeting they also have a duty to adhere to the criteria for public meetings like, traffic flow plan, sufficient number of stewards proportionate to the number of people gathering,”Enanga said.
“If they are not able to meet these demands, we advise them to avoid using crowded places like markets but look for alternatives.” He added.
The Constitutional Court last year nullified section 8 of Public Order Management Act which gave discretionary powers to the Inspector General of Police who in turn can delegate or authorize any other officer to stop or prevent the holding of public meetings.