August 1, 2013

MPs Still Divided On The Public Order Management Bill

MPs are still undecided on the Public Order Banagement Bill
MPs are still undecided on the Public Order Banagement Bill

There was a sharp controversy among MPs in parliament on Thursday August 1, as they discussed the contentious Public Order Management Bill.

This disagreement among Mps forced the Deputy speaker of parliament Hon Jacob Oulanya to suspend the meeting for over one hour.

The Deputy attorney General Fred Ruhindi moved a motion to scrap off clause seven, eight and nine from the bill.

The Clauses read as follows;

Clause 7  Notice of public meeting

(1) An organizer shall give notice in writing signed by the organiser or his or her agent to the Inspector General of Police of the intention to hold a public meeting, at least seven days but not more than fifteen days before the proposed date of the public meeting.

(2) The notice referred to in subsection ( 1) shall be in Form A in Schedule 2 and shall include-

(a) the full name and physical and postal address of the organiser of the proposed public meeting and his or her immediate contact;

(b) the proposed date and time. of the public meeting, which shall be between 6:00 a. m. and 6:00 p. m.;

(c) the proposed site of the public meeting, the estimated number of persons expected, the purpose of the public meeting, and any other relevant information; and

(3) The notice shall be accompanied by a letter of clearance from the proprietor of the venue or place where the meeting is proposed to take place giving approval of the place to be used for the public meeting;

 ( 4) An organiser or his or her agent who holds a public meeting and

fails to comply with the conditions under this Act commits an offence of disobedience of statutory duty and is liable on conviction to the penalty for that offence under section 116 of the Penal Code Act.

(5) A document certified by the Inspector General of Police specifying the terms, date and manner of service of a notice under this section shall be admissible as prima-facie evidence in any court – proceedings.

Clause 8 Notification by authorised officer

(1) Upon receipt of a notice under section 7, where it is not possible to hold the proposed public meeting, for the reason that-

( a) notice of another public meeting, on the .date, at the time and at the venue proposed has already been received by the authorised officer; or

(b) the venue is considered unsuitable , for the purposes of crowd and traffic control or will interfere with other lawful business; or

(c) for any other reasonable cause,

·the authorised officer shall in writing within forty eight hours after receipt of the notice notify the organiser or his or her agent that it is not possible to hold the proposed public meeting and the notice shall be delivered to the organiser’s address as stated in the notice of intention to hold the public meeting.

(2) Upon receipt of notification by the authorised officer, the organiser or his or her agent shall be invited to identify an alternative and acceptable venue or to reschedule the public meeting to another date or venue.

(3) Where the authorised officer notifies the organiser or his or her agent of a public meeting that it is not possible to hold the proposed public meeting on the date or venue proposed, the public meeting, shall not be held on that date or at the venue proposed.

 ( 4) A person kggrieved by the decision of an authorised officer other than the Inspector General of Police under this section may, within fourteen days after receipt of the notice under subsection ( 1) appeal to the Inspector General of Police.

( 5) A person aggrieved by the decision of the Inspector General of Police may, within thirty days appeal to the High Court.

9. Powers of authorised officer

(1) Subject to the directions of the Inspector General of Police, an authorised office or any other police officer of or above the rank of inspector, may !stop or prevent the holding of a public meeting where-

(a) the public meeting is held contrary to this Act; or

 (b) the public meeting is one which, having regard to the rights and intetests of persons who participate in that public meeting, 1 poses a clear, present or imminent danger of breach of the peace or public order.

(2) An authodsed officer may, for the purposes of subsection ( 1 ), issue orders including an order for the dispersal of the public meeting, as· are reasonable in the circumstances.

(3) An authdrised officer shall, in issuing an order under subsection (2), hav;e regard to the rights and freedoms of the persons in respect of who~1 the order has been issued and the rights and freedoms of other persons.

( 4) A person !who neglects or refuses to obey an order issued under this section 1 commits the offence of disobedience of lawful orders and is liablel on conviction to the penalty of that offence under section 11 7 of the Penal Code Act.

The Leader of Opposition in Parliament and  Budadiri West  MP Nathan Nandala Mafabi  and Kyadondo East MP Ssemujju Nganda accused the NRM MPs who just  turn up  to vote on the issues that they did not discuss

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