Rights body wants law on public order

By Vision Reporter

MEMBERS of Parliament have been urged to speed up the enactment of the public order management Bill that will give guidelines to those who wish to hold demonstrations.

By Prossy Nandudu

MEMBERS of Parliament have been urged to speed up the enactment of the public order management Bill that will give guidelines to those who wish to hold demonstrations.

The Bill that is being fronted by the Uganda Human Rights Commission, seeks to guarantee the right to peaceful assembly.

Addressing the press over the last weeks’ demonstrations, the chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Meddy Kagwa, said the Bill stipulates that the Police be notified by anyone intending to hold a demonstration or political rally.

The Police, according to the Bill, will have to respond in writing within three days of receipt of the notice.
The Bill also proposes that organisers of demonstrations submit their plans to the Police, 10 days prior to the day of demonstration.

They are then required to work with the assigned Police officer to determine, among other guidelines, an appropriate traffic plan.

Kagwa’s comments come in the wake of the walk-to-work demonstrations organised by opposition politicians that have left many people dead, others injured and a lot of property destroyed.
Kaggwa also expressed concern over the manner in which the arrest of suspects was effected last week.

“Despite the training of security agencies on human rights, they still handle suspects in a dehumanising and degrading manner,” he said.

Kagwa condemned the deployment of non-uniformed and unidentified security personnel to quell riots.
“Officers operating out side their institutional guidelines during the process of keeping public order should be punished,” he said.

Kagwa also urged the political leaders, the media and public to desist from using provocative and inciting language.

Currently, there are no clear guidelines that define the role of organisers of public gatherings.

Rights body wants law on public order