Some days you wonder, you wonder why the authorities is doing what they are doing. When the stakeholders were in shock yesterday. The truth is by law to quell to riots and demonstrations are they lawfully allowed to quell by brutal means, as these laws was installed while still being a protectorate and no one has seemed to wanted to amend or repeal this part of the Penal Code Act, which by all means gives the Uganda Police Force. Possibilities beyond usual measures of arrests without warrants or even imposing the Public Order Management Act of 2010. This is an inherited law that the National Resistance Movement and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has no issues with keeping alive.
Statement UPF Statement with stakeholders:
““We have engagement rules, where we are supposed to use excessive force,” Mugenyi said. “That is why we have these. That is why I am armed and you are not. The state is allowed to kill.” “We can kill you and even compensate you,” Mugenyi went on as the stakeholders looked on in shock” (Joshua Nahamya – ‘The State Is Allowed to Kill – AIGP Mugenyi’ 10.10.2018 link: https://chimpreports.com/the-state-is-allowed-to-kill-aigp-mugenyi/).
As you see yesterday, the AIGP is sadly right, they have the rights to do so. This is shows the possible legal ramifications and the costs can easily be pushed on the private person attending the rally and resisting the law-enforcement. I wish it wasn’t like this, but they are allowed to do so, when they are quelling riots and demonstrations, as these laws was made to stop protests against the King and Commonwealth. These laws was not made to ensure civic rules or democratic values in the Republic. That is why they sound like this!
Penal Code Act of 1950 Chapter VII subsection 69:
“If upon the expiration of a reasonable time after the proclamation is made, or after the making of the proclamation has been prevented by force, twelve or more persons continue riotously assembled together, any person authorised to make the proclamation, or any police officer or any other person acting in aid of that person or police officer, may do all things necessary for dispersing the persons so continuing assembled or for apprehending them or any of them, and if any person makes resistance, may use all such force as is reasonably necessary for overcoming such resistance and shall not be liable in any criminal or civil proceeding for having, by the use of such force, caused harm or death to any person” (Penal Code of 1950).
Nevertheless, the brutality and the legality should still be in question, as this should be the last resort, not the first, not the second, but the final straw. When it is boiling over and no-control, before anarchy, however, the Uganda Police Force and Uganda People’s Defence Force are using these measures to easily and haven’t exhausted the different approaches even. As the person isn’t only supposed to be on the streets, but resist arrest to a certain degree, at which point the law-enforcement is not legally liable for the harm or death. That shows the brutality of the measure, which was enacted in 1950 and lingers until this day.
The NRM have surely not tried to discuss or even given a fig about the justification or reverse this law. AS that hasn’t been in their interests, as they wanted the same possibilities to silence the opposition and their demonstrations. That is clearly been the outcome. The NRM didn’t change this, because of their will-power to control and silence opposition. If they had democratic values, they would have amended this or repealed this sub-section of the Penal Code. However, they prefer being colonial masters to their citizens, than treating them as fellow citizens, but subjects underneath their demi-god Museveni. Peace.