Defiant Opposition Vow To Continue With Free and Fair Elections Campaign

Olara Otunnu, the UPC president
Olara Otunnu, the UPC president

Ugandan Opposition Party leaders under the ‘Free and Fair elections now’ Coalition have vowed to maintain the campaign despite the continued aggravation by the police force.

The campaign will this week head to parts of West Nile and Northern Uganda. The team will head to Nebbi on Thursday, Arua on Friday, Gulu Saturday and Kitgum on Sunday and Lira on Monday.

Olara Otunnu the chairperson of the opposition and civil society group says ever since they launched the campaign in early February, they have gathered some good, bad and ugly experiences.

So far the group has moved to Jinja, Bushenyi, Masaka, Soroti, Mbarara, Mbale, Tororo, Kabale and Kasese. However, their last visits to Kabale and Kasese last week turned chaotic when police halted their meetings and closed down the venues.

Last night, Judith Nabakooba, the police spokesperson defended police action saying meetings must be held in accordance with the law. She added that the reasons why some meetings were disrupted was because the police was never informed.
However Otunnu says they did everything right and wrote to the Inspector General of Police Maj Gen Kale Kaihura in time.

Nabakooba explained that the reason why FDC President Maj. Gen Mugisha Muntu and Bishop Zac Niringiye were not allowed to access radio stations is because the purpose was in their nature illegal.

The right procedure according to Nabakooba is that they should have first informed the Inspector General of police or the authorized officer and not the Minister of Internal Affairs.

The police have thus made a strong call to any organisers of meetings that fall under the provisions of the Public order management Act to ensure they follow the right procedure.

However, FDC Prresident Maj. Gen Mugisha Muntu says it’s now time for the population to task the police to explain its actions since they have had continuous communication from them.

Meanwhile, the opposition insists that although the police are using the Public order management Act to block their activities, the act is not yet in operation. They cited section 1 of the Act which empowers the Minister to gazzete a day when the law starts operating. This however has not been done.

However, the group is still hopeful that national consultations with government on electoral reforms will eventually take place. Former FDC President Dr Kiiza Besigye says once their demands are met through the consultations, only then will they produce the demands before Parliament in form of a Bill.

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