The Democratic Party (DP) in opposition has appealed to Ugandans to push for a referendum on the government proposed bail reforms in the country.
Speaking to journalists at the DP offices on Tuesday, the DP deputy legal adviser, Richard Lumu, said that the decision was agreed upon during an extraordinary meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC).
Lumu said as DP, they vowed to protect article 23(6)a, b and c of the constitution from being attacked by the regime.
“We note that removing the right to bail and or to apply for bail contravenes the laws of natural justice, one is condemned guilty before trial,” he said.
He noted that they have already delivered a letter to the Electoral Commission seeking to motion the right of citizens to ask for a referendum.
Lumu said that they strongly believe that the people of Uganda should determine whether or not the right to bail is scrapped.
“Let the people of Uganda choose, in a few weeks to come we shall traverse the country gathering at least two million signatures of registered voters petitioning the electoral commission to organize a referendum regarding the question of bail whereafter court will be petitioned to bar Parliament from discussing the matter that is scheduled for a referendum,” Lumu said.
Last week, cabinet tabled a proposal to have Article 23 (6) (b) of the Constitution amended to state that a person accused of committing an offence that is triable by both the High Court and subordinate courts, shall not be granted bail until after 180 days or trail commitment, or when the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) discontinues proceedings, whichever is earlier.
Recently President Museveni renewed his old push to scrap bail for suspected capital offenders.
In a terse address at the Benedicto Kiwanuka Memorial Lecture at High Court Building, where soldiers dragged out and later killed the former chief justice under Idi Amin 49 years ago, President Museveni also demanded that convicted murderers should automatically suffer death by hanging.
During the 4th Ben Kiwanuka Memorial Lecture in held last month, Museveni said rendering bail at the discretion of judges was a “provocation” to the offended communities saying these may retaliate against suspects freed pending trial.