“Police spokesman Fred Enanga confirmed that Mr Kyagulanyi and members of his entourage had been arrested. “We are temporarily holding them in our police station. We shall have to release them at some later stage but we are looking at charges of holding an unlawful assembly and disobedience of lawful orders,” (…) ““The meetings are supposed to be in enclosed venues as guided by the Electoral Commission,” Mr Enanga added on Monday” (Derrick Wandera – ‘Bobi Wine transferred to Nagalama Police station’ 06.01.2020, Daily Monitor).
Is there any help in complying with the Public Order and Management Act of 2013 and the Presidential Elections Act of 2005? After today, the whole public and everyone whose a stakeholder should scream: “NO”. No sir, there is no way you can get cleared or fixated without meeting the Police Force and they finding something to pinpoint. Because, that is what they did in concern of the People Power Movement and Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine today.
Because the laws itself is screwed that way, they can nearly interpret anything as a Public Meeting, a gathering and then use their authorization to deny the meeting, block the venue and call it unlawful. Since, that is what they do. There is no denying in that either, as that what happens and on a regular basis from the Police Force.
Even one of the laws states this.
Presidential Elections Act of 2005:
“3. Aspirant consultations
(1) An aspirant may consult in preparation for his or her nomination as a presidential candidate within twelve months before the nomination date.
(2) While consulting under subsection (1), a presidential aspirant may—
(a) carry out nation-wide consultations;
(b) prepare his or her manifesto and other campaign materials;
(c) raise funds for his or her campaign through lawful means;
(d) convene meetings of national delegates.
(3) While consulting, the aspirant shall introduce himself or herself to the Commission and notify the relevant local council and the police of the area to which he or she goes” (Presidential Elections Act of 2005).
What you can say about this is that its not specific about what consultations is. That is why the Police Force uses the means and laws of the Penal Code and the POMA. This is why the Police Force uses unlawful assembly and preventative arrests, instead of shielding the venue and actually safeguarding the participants for the Presidential Candidate. It is very rich of the state to do this, but by this point its their modus operandi.
We knew this would happen, this is the sort of things that at this point is written in the stars, that is carved into stone and a natural reflex of the state to flex upon the opposition and use their force to block and stop the activities of them. That is just the way it is. Not that its wise nor brilliant. However, it sends a signal and shows their contempt of assembly and consultations in general. Peace.