Police have vowed to continue disrupting unlawful assemblies planned by members of the opposition.
CP Enanga Fred, Police Spokesperson, said last week, the police disrupted attempts by Rtd. Col. Dr. Kiiza Besigye to hold unlawful assemblies and processions as a tool to manifest his discontent against the surge in commodity prices and fuel.
According to Enanga, the use of illegal processions has the potential of massively disrupting the other rights of the community, through disruptions in the flow of traffic, breach of peace, looting of shops and roadside market shops, mugging and theft of phones from bystanders and pedestrians, running battles with security personnel and provocative behaviour like burning of tyres etc.
“We, therefore, wish to remind the Rtd. Col. Dr. Kiiza Besigye, that Section 5 of the Public Order Management Act (POMA), is still in force and requires all organisers of public meetings to notify the IGP, at least 3 days but not more than 15 days before the proposed date of the meeting,” Enanga told the press on Monday at Police Headquarters in Naguru.
He said the notice should indicate the date, time, location, size, purpose and other basic information which is justified, to ensure the smooth conduct of the assembly.
“It is, therefore, unfortunate that he did not give any notice and thus contravened the provisions of the POMA. We shall, therefore, continue using our powers and discretion in policing unlawful assemblies,” he noted.
He added: “All our territorial commanders have been tasked to remain vigilant and work with political actors who keep their activities within the law. And in addition, use lawful and reasonable methods to disperse and disrupt unlawful assemblies.”