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Otafiire raps Ssempala arrest

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th November 2008 03:00 AM

THE arrest of Kampala Woman MP Nabilah Nagayi Ssempala was wrong, the local government minister told MPs probing the conduct of the Police.

THE arrest of Kampala Woman MP Nabilah Nagayi Ssempala was wrong, the local government minister told MPs probing the conduct of the Police.

By Madinah Tebajjukira

THE arrest of Kampala Woman MP Nabilah Nagayi Ssempala was wrong, the local government minister told MPs probing the conduct of the Police.

Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire said Ssempala was executing her constitutional duties.

Ssempala was arrested on June 10 at St. Balikuddembe (Owino) Market for allegedly holding an illegal rally and inciting violence.

But the MP told the committee that she was launching suggestion boxes.

“What Nabilah was doing was legitimate. It was wrong for anybody to interfere. She was explaining the use of suggestion boxes, which was legitimate and correct. She did not have to get permission from the Police. She only needed to approach the market chief,” Otafiire said.

He said on learning of Ssempala’s arrest, he contacted internal affairs minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, who denied knowledge of her arrest.

He then contacted the assistant Inspector General of Police, Julius Odwe, and asked him to release the MP on bond. “I told him that I was standing surety for her,” Otafiire said.

He told the committee, chaired by Peter Nyombi (Independent), that it is not mandatory for MPs in Kampala to seek permission from the Police to meet their electorates.

Unlike in rural areas where MPs can meet their voters at home, Otafiire observed that MPs in Kampala have to meet their voters at their places of work. He added that the MPs only inform the Police to provide security for people’s merchandise.

Otafiire called upon MPs to meet with him and discuss how they can carry out their constitutional work without causing commotion.

Early this year, the Police issued a notice banning gatherings of more than 25 people in the Kampala central business district.

Asked whether it was right for the Police to arrest Kampala Central MP Elias Lukwago when he addressed Nakasero vendors through a taxi window, Otafiire replied that it was improper.

Otafiire also said the Kiboko might have been a special branch of the Police.

Otafiire raps Ssempala arrest

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