Police Blockage Of Constituency Meetings Irks MPs

Following the blocking of a meeting organised by Kasese Municipality MP, Hon. Robert Centenary in his constituency, Members of Parliament want an explanation from the Executive on the continued actions of the Uganda Police Force.

The legislators are also concerned about the police actions of barring Members of Parliament from attending meetings organized in constituencies of their colleagues.

Dokolo District Woman MP, Hon. Cecilia Ogwal said that there is need for the Minister of Internal Affairs to advise the MPs if there is a new law or decree barring legislators from attending constituency meetings of their colleagues like has been in the past.

Cecilia Ogwal  said that she had been invited by Centenary to attend the meeting in which he was to deliver accountability of his performance in Parliament to his constituency but she was directed by the police not attend.
“Why are we being stopped from attending such functions selectively; last Thursday, 20th February, the Minister for ICT alongside two other MPs were in my constituency to give out computers to schools and nobody stopped them,” Cecilia Ogwal added.

MP Centenary added that the Police had set tough conditions for him to hold a meeting which included not inviting other MPs or politicians and asking him to hold the meeting in a main hall.
“I have over 60,000 registered voters and there is no such hall in Kasese to accommodate all or even half of these people; so how does the Police expect me to exercise my constitutional mandate as a Member of Parliament?” he said.
Centenary said that the Police stopped his meeting and disperse the crowd that had gathered.
“The DPC told me that my meeting would be shut down if any MP from Kasese appeared. The Police has misinterpreted the Public Order Management Act, ” he said.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said that it has become a notable embarrassment on behalf of the government to block people from talking to their constituents especially those from the Opposition Parties.

She added that she had received a call from MP Centenary to intervene and she contacted the Inspector General of Police but the meeting was still disrupted.
“What happened to the multi-party spirit; have we got rid of the other parties? The government should come out explicitly to tell us whether they do not want any other political parties,” Kadaga added.

She directed the Executive to present an explanation on Thursday, 27 February 2020.


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