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US cautions Uganda on freedoms of expression

By John Masaba

Added 23rd April 2019 05:25 PM

“Uganda’s constitution guarantees freedom of assembly and expression. We echo the Ugandan people in calling on the government to respect these rights.”

Deborahmalac 703x422

U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Deborah R. Malac. Photo/File

“Uganda’s constitution guarantees freedom of assembly and expression. We echo the Ugandan people in calling on the government to respect these rights.”

KAMPALA - US has expressed dissatisfaction at ‘disturbing events’ in Uganda in the last few days. In a press release, which was released through the US embassy in Kampala on Tuesday, US called upon the government to respect the Uganda constitution which “guarantees freedom of speech and assembly” in the country.

“Today we join the many Ugandans asking why their government has recently blocked musical concerts and radio talk shows, disrupted peaceful demonstrations and rallies, and deployed heavy-handed security forces against peaceful citizens,” the statement read.

“Uganda’s constitution guarantees freedom of assembly and expression.  We echo the Ugandan people in calling on the government to respect these rights.” 

“Strong leaders and states do not stifle speech – they allow their citizens to participate fully and without fear in a vibrant multi-party democracy,” the statement stated.

The speech did not make references to the events or individuals whose rights have been violated. However, it is expected the notice is in reference to Monday’s blockade on MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine's music show which was slated for Easter Monday at Busabala in Wakiso district.

 


However, in a communication dated April 19, 2019 by the Police director in charge of operations, AIGP Asuman Mugyenyi, informed Kyagulanyi’s music promoters that the show dubbed Kyarenga Extra had been called off.

Police told Kyagulanyi’s team that its decision was premised on the fact that they had failed to meet security guidelines at previous concerts.

“This is to inform you that despite the elaborate and clear guidelines well stipulated in our correspondence and the previous meetings we had regarding the preparations, the manner, conduct, characteristics and security demands from your side, previous concerts have fallen short of agreed positions,” Mugenyi said.

Like Kyagulanyi, Police has also had running battles with former FDC presidential candidate Col Kizza Besigye in the last few weeks over his ongoing countrywide activities. In some of activities, Besigye has accused the police of switching off radio stations hosting him.

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