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TOP STORY: Live Bullets, Tear Gas Rain Heavily In Mityana On NUP Leaders

Bullets and tear gas have rocked Mityana district where police has been running battles with supporters of the National Unity Platform who had turned up for their party’s district Women’s day celebrations.

The event which was organized by Mityana Women representative Joyce Bagala Ntwatwa at Bekiina in Busujju county ended in tears as police deployed heavily, firing live bullets and showering the attendees with colored water canons tear gas.

Franked by Busujju county legislator Lukyamuzi Kalwanga, Joyce Bagala lashed at police and Museveni government calling it an abuse of power with impunity. It’s reported that some party leaders were arrested during the scuffle.

It’s no longer a secret that court nullified several sections of the Public Order Management Act (POMA) 2013 which gave police the absolute powers to clear events and public rallies. While reacting to the court ruling, Fred Enanga the police spokesperson reveled that they’re aware of the ruling but will use other provisions to stop public meetings.

Therefore we believe police acted in that regard to such provisions of the penal code act regarding assemblies.


POMA sets in place requirements to be met before a person can lawfully participate or organize a public meeting, including the requirement that an organizer gives notice of the his or her intention to hold a public meeting, at least three days prior to the meeting. The section also imposes punishments for organizers and participants who participate in unauthorized assemblies.

In her ruling, Musoke said the cited sections in fact go beyond what is provided for in the constitution and therefore can’t stand.

“The fact that sections 5 (B) and 10 (4) provide for the imposition of penal sanctions on organizers and participants in peaceful albeit unauthorized demonstrations are disproportionate measures would involve asking the organizers to disband illegal meetings, failing which the authorities would then disperse the illegal meetings. It i only in the event of actual violence that it would be necessary to impose penal sanctions against the perpetrators of the violence”

She added “I would therefore find that the imposition of a penal sanction under section 5 (B) and sections 10(3) and (4) of the POMA is disproportionate for purposes of ensuring orderly meetings and constitutes limitations that are not acceptable and demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society and that contravene article 29 (t) (d) of the 1995 constitution” Musoke said

While reacting to the ruling, police said that the ruling doesn’t give Ugandans a right to assemble any how without police’s presence to disrupt if not cleared.

Although these sections were nullified, we would like to inform, the public that there are other existing laws under the Penal code Act, that do regulate unlawful Assemblies, riots and other offences against public tranquility. In addition, section 5 of the public Oder Management Act, which basically provides for organizers f a public meeting to notify police, 3 days before the date of the meeting is to convene, is still in existence. Therefore, all organizers of assemblies and processions, should know that although it’s their fundamental right to peacefully assemble, they also have a duty to inform the police about the sate and time of their public meetings, details of the organizers, location and consent of the venue owner, the number of persons expected, purpose and any other basic information, justified to ensure the smooth conduct of the public meeting”-police said in a statement.

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