The Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga has told Legislators that she and the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe asked the President to declare a State of Emergency.
A state of emergency is a condition of national danger whereby any government suspends normal constitutional procedures to regain control. A state of emergency is usually declared during national disasters, war and civil unrest, a pandemic or epidemic and other risks.
Uganda on its part declared a lockdown banning public gatherings and public transport.
During plenary on Thursday morning, Kadaga told MPs that last Friday, the President invited the top leaders of the arms of government and during the meeting, they advised the President to declare a state of emergency. However, Kadaga said that it was objected by a cabinet Minister who convinced the President against declaring a state of emergency.
Kadaga’s revelation came after Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa’s statement on whether Government intends to bring supplementary statutory instruments to cover for the new directives issued by the President.
Basalirwa said that law enforcement officers are facing a lot of challenges, citing for instance under what law the curfew was pronounced.
The leader of Opposition Betty Aol Ochan said that although the President has a lot of powers, Parliament has a great role to play.
Article 110 of the 1995 Constitution provides for the declaration of a state of emergency. The article states in part that, the President may, in consultation with the Cabinet, by proclamation, can declare a state of emergency in part or the whole of Uganda if the country is threatened by war or external aggression, when the security or the economic life of the country is threatened by internal insurgency or natural disaster or when there are factors that render necessary the taking of measures which are required for securing the public safety, the Defense of Uganda and the maintenance of public order and supplies and services essential to the life of the community.