Today it is first Thursday when many people stay home in solidarity to Dr. Kizza Besigye’s house arrest and the stealing of the votes on 18th Feburary 2016. The Police can’t handle that people are staying home and not talking. They can’t gather evidence and find out who really is opposition to harass. Therefore the CP of the Police said this to the media! And he had to use Public Order Management Act (POMA) the bill who is more used in Uganda then the Constitution to give the Police right to whatever they want.
“These demonstrations are deemed illegal because they are not authorized by Police as required under the Public Order Management Act, due to the potential of culminating into riots across the city; including arson, looting of properties, destruction and vandalism, and violent clashes between Police and rock throwing protesters. It is on record during the last such unlawful protests that several businesses reported damage, buildings destroyed, vehicles vandalized and injuries sustained,” says Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson” (Afunah, 2016).
That not going to work is illegal and not authorized from the Police is amazing. That the Police can state that you are making arson and potentially destroying property by not going to work is flamboyant at best.
Take look here:
Eyewitness: “Time check. 9:00 am I am at home i mean staying at home. The thought rung in my mind..go out and access the situation and find out the public response towards call for stay at home. Here i took a 5 minute walk to Kitintale taxi stage. This is one of the busiest stages in Kampala”
And if the police has issues with black or blue t-shirts while walking to work, it proves their partisanship and really, really foolish to demolish this way of showing their agony in public. The Police might not gotten a petition or form filled in with the planned demonstration, but the issue is that if they had filled it in, they would not been accepted. They have themselves aggressively preventative arrests of FDC and GO-Forward activists/officials/agents. Therefore the initial activities from the Police is not giving justice, but securing the Presidency and the elite of NRM. Not caring about democratic actions as they have sieged the home of Dr. Kizza Besigye since before the Election Day, the way the Police has attacked the Najjankumbi Headquarter have been raided twice. So if the Police expected that the FDC would comply with their rules now, it would be strange as they themselves has no regards for laws or regulations as they attack the FDC and Go-Forward by any means since the 18th of February.
The Demonstration of the FDC and their supporters is peaceful defiance and defying the institutions and businesses that supply funding to the NRM-Regime. They do not say that people should stay home if they fear of losing their job! It is a demonstration of character as they will defy the regime by peaceful means. The destruction and vandalism is more the way of the Police and Army as they hurt and kill. While the FDC want to wear a shirt and stop using MTN. If that is hard for Police to understand, I understand that as they have shown that they only understand violence, as they create it or harass the public. The Police cannot harass the public if they stay in their own home. They are allowed not to listen to Bebe Cool or Dr. Jose Chameleone or anybody else who supported President Museveni during his campaigning. They can listen to Bobi Wine or Lucky Dube if they want to, with that should cause tension. As much as staying home is a way of showing disaffection, if you couldn’t do that; than the public could do that through clothing as a sign of defying the regime; both of them are is soft and peaceful ways of demonstrations, not making the violence and creating vandalism.
So Uganda Police I do not know what you do in your homes if that is violent or vandalism, but that is up to you, and if the public is wearing something dangerous by wearing blue or black. Than you should start to wear that yourself since the Police are often the most dangerous, as you throw tear-gas, live-bullets and other aggressive behavior towards the people. And telling people that they are breaking the “Public Order” by staying home or even wearing some other clothing is just unserious, even if the FDC and the FDC NEC didn’t send a form displaying the articles and decisions to demonstrate peacefully in the country.
The actions of Rukungiri where shops have been closed in solidarity of the FDC and “Free My vote” campaign; the shop owners are now being arrested and detained by the Police; So the Police have now lawful power to tell if the stores can be open and closed. By the assumption of the public display arresting Mr. Batuma and Mr. Sonko of Sonko Electronics in Rukungiri who has been arrested today after their store been closed. The FDC has been informed that UPF is looking out for business-owners that closed their businesses voluntarily. Is this the proud state of Police and NRM-Regime that you order businesses to be open or be detained by government forces? Is that parts of President Museveni’s pledges and speaking of peace during the pre-election period. As nobody could create violence or unrest in the country as long as he was President, the old man with hat and his security organizations has gone to far, when they take the men who lay down the work in solidarity for a cause and then detaining them, while looking for the other ones.
The people do this without creating any of the violence and vandalism. Even if a government car got burnt by the Electoral Commission offices in Kampala, compared to the violence you created when Dr. Kizza Besigye was crossing town to go to the Makerere rally on the 15th February 2016, this here has been nothing. I am sure the Police will blame it on the opposition, even if it was the Police themselves blazing the car, even if it was just a disgruntled employee of the Electoral Commission, who hadn’t gotten his/hers pay-check.
So if the Police struggle with the sit-home demonstrations and the clothing to show allegiance with opposition, with boycotting NRM and showing public disobedience. That should be allowed and not be questioned. Peace.
Afunah, Badru – ‘Police Warns As FDC’s Protests Begin’ (10.03.2016) link: http://news.ugo.co.ug/police-warns-fdcs-protests-begin/