The dust over Public Order Management Bill not yet settled

 SOLOMON LUBAMBULA

The dust that was raised during the passing of the contentious Public Order Management Bill in parliament recently is not about to settle down, as more actions are yet to be unveiled.

As others plan to take on civil litigation, the suspended lawmaker representing Aruu County in parliament Samuel Odonga Otto has vowed to do whatever it takes to protect the constitution in the subsequent sittings when he officially gets back to the National Assembly.

Otto said that after what he called an alleged suspension from Parliament, he is motivated to take up drastic actions to the extent of fighting the deputy speaker, all in the defense of the constitution.

Odonga Otto, Kyandondo East MP Semujju Ibrahim Nganda and Lwemiyaga County Theodore Ssekikubo were suspended from parliament during the passing of the controversial Public Order Management Bill.

Otto says that under an organized committee they are now more determined and they will not just look on as NRM MPs in collaboration with the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah continue to rape the Ugandan constitution.

 Referring to other parliaments in Kenya, India among other countries where parliamentary deliberations have degenerated into physical fights, Otto said the Ugandan population should not rule out beating of Oulanyah if ever try to abrogate the constitution.

“those who have been waiting for apologies this has been the biggest dream of the century none of us could offer apology, we have resolved that the only remedy for the deputy speaker of parliament is to be beaten in that House” Otto threatened.

Meanwhile about the content of the passed the Public Order Management Bill yet to be assented by President Yoweri Museveni, Otto claims that besides keeping the passed piece of legislation away from the public, the police has invaded the Hansard Department of Parliament with sinister motives.

According to Otto there could be plans by the police and other parties in government to access the recorded proceedings of Parliament under the Hansard (the Official Parliament records) to alter the recorded deliberations in relation to the Public Order Management bill.

He says this would give the authorities leeway to insert whatever clause that favours the current regime in the already bad law.Otto stunned the crowd at the DENIVA offices when he said that Police cops had been seen around the Hansard Offices in parliament demanding to access the records, which prompted a staff to inform him.

Meanwhile, members of different civil society groups have team up with opposition politicians, religious leaders and the academia to mobilize the population to defy the recently passed Public Order Management Bill.

Under what they called citizens’ Alliance, the civil society activists  says that it is high time that all Ugandans join hands to resist the infringement of their rights by government through bad laws.

Reading a statement on behalf of the civil society groups, the DENIVA Uganda executive Director Justus Rugambwa explained that the citizens alliance intends to have all right thinking Ugandans resist the enactment of anti-people laws with grave ramifications for Human Rights.

Rugambwa noted that the public order Management law is dealing with symptomatic offshoots and as such does not address the underlying causes of public disorder. Government should concentrate efforts towards provision of social services, he said.

“Legislations against discontent can deliver a semblance of stability but only for a short time. Long lasting citizen oriented stability is hinged on provision of functional social and public amnesty”, Rugambwa noted

Quoting biblical scriptures Luke chapter 4 versus 18-19, the Chairperson of the Inter-religious council Kigezi region, Reverend Father Gaetano Batenyenda noted that all Ugandans including the religious leaders are obliged to help the people under any form of oppression.

This comes after President Mueveni has often noted that the role of religious persons is to baptize and preach, in otherwords they should not involve in matters that affect their followers.

But according to Rev. Father Gaetano, once you divorce God from politics, then somebody else come in, who is Satan and of course where Satan is, then there is more call for religious leaders to come in to fight him.

Father Gaetano stressed that Religious should not be compromised by the authorities and leave issues of managing society to dictators to oppress God’s People.

The Kabale diocese cleric says it is unconstitutional for the current regime to knowingly pass laws that are geared at fighting people’s rights. He added that God gave man rights to speak, assemble as well as other rights but it’s sad to see that the current leadership of President Museveni, with his agents like Maj.Gen Kale Kayihura and Sam Omara is instead suppressing these freedoms and rights.

Meanwhile Political parties Including the Democratic Party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Justice Forum (JEEMA) vowed to support the civil society rallies across the country in addition to the legal suits to legally challenge the Public Order Management Law.

The DP president Norbert Mao pledged that the party is to stand to shoulder by shoulder with all those resisting this repressive law.

“ we warn the powers that be, the president, the sycophant  caucus of the NRM, the sycophant police led by the likes of Omara and Kale Kayihura  and the overzealous gen Aronda said that he would support public rights and suppress Individual rights, we therefore wish to warn all those in position of authority that if legitimate protest is suppressed then this will open a loose gate for underground resistance Movement”, Mao said

The public rallies will be starting in Kawempe Division this Friday before traversing the country sides preaching against what the civil society calls the unconstitutional law.Earlier police descended on a group of Makerere University Students where demonstrating against the closure of the university were peacefully and roughed them up.

Some of the students beaten by police reportedly sustained fractures and serious injuries on their skulls due to the excessive force applied to disperse them.

To this end the Democratic Party president Norbert Mao is calling for suing Individual officers that commit such gruesome crimes against humanity to Ugandans. Meanwhile, the FDC Secretary General Alice Alaso called for the documentation of all illegal acts done by police and security officers to help in filing cases against them in international courts.

Activists expressed fears with the retrospective legalization introducing the contentious Public order Management Bill will give the Inspector General of Police excessive Powers that are susceptible to be abused.

The activists says that the president should not sign this law because the Police will now authoritatively disperse all public assemblies at its discretion since the definition of the public meeting and the venue are not specific.

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