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Besigye assembles 80 lawyers to handle cases of harassment

By Jeff Andrew Lule

Added 8th January 2020 07:14 PM

Lukwago said since they started collecting signatures for their International Criminal Court (ICC) petition to drag President Yoweri Museveni to court over alleged crimes against humanity, many of their people have been purportedly beaten, arrested, harassed, detained and tortured.

Besigye assembles 80 lawyers to handle cases of harassment

Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago

Lukwago said since they started collecting signatures for their International Criminal Court (ICC) petition to drag President Yoweri Museveni to court over alleged crimes against humanity, many of their people have been purportedly beaten, arrested, harassed, detained and tortured.

POLITICS
 
By Jeff Andrew Lule and Lydia Oroma 
            
The self-proclaimed Dr. Col. Kizza Besigye's "People's Government" has assembled 80 lawyers to deal with challenges facing their team in different parts of the country.
 
Addressing journalists at their offices in Katonga, Kampala, the deputy president of the pseudo-government, Erias Lukwago, said the legal team will handle the cases of  torture and harrassment  by the Police on their people and other Ugandans countrywide.
 
"These are not Kampala-based lawyers. They are in different parts of the country. They will help all Ugandans in the struggle for a better democracy, whose rights are being abused," he added.
 
Lukwago said since they started collecting signatures for their International Criminal Court (ICC) petition to drag President Yoweri Museveni to court over alleged crimes against humanity, many of their people have been purportedly beaten, arrested, harassed, detained and tortured.
 
He cited the districts of Namayingo, Ntungamo, Kasese, Luwero, Mukono and Busia as the areas where their officials were allegedly harassed by the state apparatus.
 
"Many of our team members in these areas were harassed, arrested and materials in their possession confiscated. But that will not deter us from continuing with the exercise (collecting signatures and gathering more evidence)," he added.
 
Lukwago, who also doubles as the Lord Mayor of Kampala, revealed that they want to close the exercise by the end of January and file the petition in February.
 
"We hired lawyers to keep watch of what is taking place and follow up our officials who are arrested and taken to court. The lawyers are also going to help other Ugandans in the struggle to defend the Constitution," he added.  
 
Lukwago added that they were also going to embark on regional assemblies to update and sensitise Ugandans on various issues.
 
Defy police directive on meetings in private residencies
The group also described the Police move to ban meetings in private residences as being unconstitutional.
 
"This is illegal and unconstitutional. It is repressive, obnoxious and even stinks. Police is just abusing our intelligence, hiding under the Public Order Management Act (POMA)," Lukwago said.
 
He said the Police can only regulate public gatherings in case there is a clash of programmes or if the gathering is likely to affect traffic.
 
"But they have no right to regulate meetings in our homes. This is just ridiculous. Do I have to get permission to have a meeting with my children to discuss news in my home," Lukwago wondered.
 
Addressing journalists at the Police's weekly press briefing on Monday, the Uganda Police Force's publicist, Fred Enanga, cautioned the public, especially politicians, against holding meetings in their residencies.
 
He said such meetings are illegal and should be stopped immediately by Police commanders in their respective areas.
 
However, Lukwago said this is just aimed at frustrating the activities of the Opposition, which they will not allow.
 
"We are ready to comply with the guidelines of holding public gatherings by notifying the Police. But we shall not seek any permission to hold meetings in our homes. We are waiting to see how they will invade our homes to disperse meetings with our families. They must respect the right to privacy as stipulated within the law under Article 27," he added.
 
He further raised concern on the continued humiliation of their officials in different parts of the country as they engage the public to gather signatures to back their petition to drag President Yoweri Museveni to the ICC over alleged crimes against humanity.
 
The Mukono Municipality MP, who also doubles as the information minister in the mock government (People's Government), said the Electoral Commission (EC) needs to come out with clear guidelines on how, where and when consultations should be held by the anticipating presidential aspirants.
 
"Otherwise, consultations can be done through different approaches. Let them come out clearly on the dos and don'ts than harass and inconvenience people," she added.
 
 

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