We are aware that the roadmap for the first phase of consultations, by Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi, an Aspiring Presidential Candidate for the 2021 Presidential Elections, were supposed to commence today, 06/01/2019, from Wakiso district and get extended to the districts of Gulu, Lira, Adjuman, Yumbe, Arua and Zombo districts.
During the month of December, 2019, the Electoral Commission, described consultations as an exchange of views in an attempt to reach a decision. The identified reviews ought to facilitate exchange of views between the aspirant and those being consulted. And had to be distinguished from campaigns by discouraging the distribution of materials, campaigns, holding rallies and meeting; and canvassing or soliciting for voters envisaged under sections 21 and 24 of the Presidential Elections Act, 2005.
In addition, he was reminded as a requirement to notify the relevant local councils and the police of the area, he intended to go for consultations. Although, the Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi claims he met all the legal requirements for public consultations, the provisions of the Public Order Management Act, which deal with the conduct of public meetings and assemblies, were not fully met.
The request should indicate the date and time of the public meeting; details of the organizers, location and consent of the venue owner, the number of persons expected, purpose and any other basic information justified to ensure the smooth conduct of the public meeting. The organizers also have a duty to adhere to the required criteria for holding public meetings, have a traffic assembly plan, provide sufficient stewards proportionate to the number of participants in the public meeting with clearly identified name tags; coordinate and cooperate with the police to maintain peace and order.
In this very instance, the organizers did not avail the traffic or assembly plan, did not avail the traffic or assembly plan, did not avail public safety, before during and after the public meeting, there was adequate provision of emergency response capabilities and there was no joint coordination with police to facilitate access control and maintain public order; the venue was not in a closed setting which were not justified grounds to unsure the smooth conduct of the assembly.
We are fortunate that political parties and actors, who comply with the notification and formal authorization procedures in the POMA, hold peaceful meetings and assemblies. These include the, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) and the Democratic Party (DP). Upon cooperating successfully with the police, they have held meetings where their concerns, aspirations and views, have been discussed under peaceful settings. We thank them for their level of cooperation.
Unfortunately, Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi continues to show blatant disregard for the law. As of today, 6th January, 2020, he defied the procedures in the POMA, and went on to hold an illegal assembly and procession. After the attempt to force his way to the open venue. He was cautioned in vain and later arrested together with Hon. Latif Ssebagala and Hon Asuman Basalirwa and 13 other boda boda riders who were engaging in criminal behavior.
We urge Hon Robert Kyagulanyi to keep their activities within the law and avoid using consultations as a tool of upfront campaigns. We hope that we shall jointly coordinate and cooperate with the organizers.