Judge raps Police for dispersing opposition rallies
Publish Date: Jul 04, 2014
Judge raps Police for dispersing opposition rallies
Court of Appeal Judge Remmy Kasule (right) talks to director of Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum Adrian Jjuuko after the international Governance Alliance workshop on using public interest law to deliver democracy in East Africa at Kampala Sheraton Hotel. PHOTO/Francis Emorut
  • mail
  • img

By Francis Emorut                                         

The Court of Appeal Judge, Remmy Kasule, has criticized the Police over dispersing civil society and opposition rallies saying it is an infringement on peoples’ rights to freedom of assembly and expression.

“Where individuals assemble, if Police entertain a reasonable belief that some disturbances may occur during the assembly, all that can be done is to provide security and supervision in anticipation of disturbances.

"It is the paramount duty of the Police to maintain law and order but not to curtail people’s enshrined freedoms and liberties on mere anticipatory grounds which might turn out to be false,” Kasule told fellow judges, law experts, academia, civil society, lawyers and magistrates.

He was speaking during the workshop on using public interest law to deliver democracy in East Africa held in Kampala.

The workshop was organized by international Governance Alliance (iGA) aimed at exploring best practices in using strategic litigation as a tool to reduce marginalization and enable social inclusion.  

“Lawful assemblies shouldn’t be dispersed under any circumstances,” Kasule stated.

He pointed out that in a free democratic society the Police is supposed to keep law and order and if the Inspector General of Police sees any possibility of a breach of peace at assembly the Police should provide protection.

“The citizens should be allowed to exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms,” he said.

Justice Kasule was presenting a paper titled: “How Public Interest Law can Promote in Delivering Democracy in East Africa.”

“A society, especially a democratic one should be able to tolerate some annoyance or disorder so as to encourage the greatest possible freedom of expression particularly political expression.”

He hinted that the powers given to IGP to prohibit the convening of an assembly or procession is unjustified limitation on the enjoyment of fundamental rights.

The Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine (centre) Court of Appeal Judge Remmy Kasule (right) sharing a light moment with participants after the international Governance Alliance workshop on using public interest to deliver democracy in East Africa at Kampala Sheraton Hotel. PHOTO/Francis Emorut

“Such limitation is not demonstrably justified in a free and democratic country like Uganda,” the Judge said.

This comes after Parliament last year enacted Public Order and Management Act giving the Police more powers to determine whether an assembly should be allowed to take place or not.

“The Police have a wide range of powers to control and restrict the actions of protestors. These powers shouldn’t be exercised by the Police in an unaccountable and discriminatory manner,” he said.

Kasule however, warned that right to peaceful protest is not absolute.

The Makerere University Don Prof. Onyango Oloka observed that there is public frustration on the collapse of some institutions.

He said there was need for law experts to interface with judges.

The Principal Judge, Justice Yorokamu Bamwine, disagreed with Oloka’s assertion on collapsed institutions saying the judiciary under his docket was vibrant and the public has gained confidence in it.

“The Judiciary is now being appreciated as non-violence Avenue by some section of society,” Bamwine said.

“Today Judges and Magistrates are being mindful of the judicial powers they have and they have administered justice appropriately,” he said.

Dr. Maria Nassali the executive director iGA explained that public interest litigation seeks to afford justice for the marginalized group in society, influence good regional governance practices and expose injustices.

Also related to this story

Gov't to meet opposition over rallies

Opposition, CSOs write to Aronda over rallies

Police block opposition rally in Mbale


The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Butaleja warned against misuse of the early flood warning system
The assistant commissioner for disaster in the directorate of disaster preparedness, Gerald Menhya has called for skills development among the Butaleja district officials on how to operate the flood early warning system....
New population council sets priorities
The newly inaugurated National Population Council (NPC) has identified five issues Uganda should tackle urgently to achieve its development goal of becoming a middle class income by 2040. The ministry of finance, planning and economic development on Tuesday launched the council following the enact...
Nomination for MP candidates for December 2
Nomination for MP candidates will be held on December 2 to 3, 2015, Electoral Commission (EC) announced. MP candidates are required to submit names of 10 registered voters from constituency; sh300,000; photographs and education particulars for nomination....
Pope Francis to publish his first book in January
Pope Francis'' Italian publishing house on Tuesday unveiled the cover for the pontiff''s first book, based on interviews with journalist and Vatican expert Andrea Tornielli....
Court denies Chris Mubiru bail
JUSTICE Rugadya Atwooki dismissed Mubiru’s application on grounds that his true particulars are unknown to court since he presented various confusing documents which included his passport...
REDUCING the fertility rate (6.2 babies for female) and high mortality and high proportion of young people are among the issues NPC would like to assist Government to tackle urgently...
Is Uganda ready for the pope's visit?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter