Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kampala, has called upon Ugandans to refrain from rioting and resort to peaceful demonstrations to practice their constitutional rights.
Archbishop Lwanga says that most Ugandans do not know the difference between demonstrations and rioting, that is the reason why they confuse both and end up battling with security agencies.
Archbishop Lwanga’s communication comes in after at least 50 Ugandans lost lives and hundreds still nursing wounds as a result of protests that were sparked off when Robert Sentamu Kyagulanyi, the NUP presidential candidate was arrested in Luuka district last week.
The Archbishop argues that it was unfortunate that many innocent Ugandans lost lives, others sustained injuries and many lost properties as a result of this protest yet Ugandans had an option of using peaceful demonstration which is their constitutional right to show their grievances.
He calls upon fellow religious actors to discourage rioting among Ugandans and teach them to always carry out peaceful demonstrations if the need arises, adding that rioting is evil and should be discouraged.
According to the Constitution (1995) of the republic of Uganda, Article 29(1) (d) provides for the right of every person to the freedom of assembly and demonstration together with others, peacefully and unarmed. The idea that citizens should meet peaceably to consult one another about public affairs and to petition for redress of grievances is at the heart of democratic governance.
The right to demonstrate and to protest on matters of public concern is a right ‘which is in the public interest that individuals should posses’ so long as it is not done to propagate violence or do anything unlawful.
In the same manner, the Archbishop condemned the shootings and brutality that the security agencies showed while managing the situation. He said, it was unnecessary and that it is against human rights which are God given entitlements.
According to Lwanga, if a person commits crime, arrest and produce them to court for further decisions instead of killing or injuring them which is un-Godly, because the bible says “thou shall not call kill Exodus 20:13.”
He calls upon Ugandans to keep peace in this campaign period and follow the standard operating procedures-SOPs as a way of fighting COVID-19, adding that defying the directives of government is wrong.
Archbishop Lwanga said all these during the requiem mass at Rubaga cathedral, celebrating the life of Maria Josephine Mugerwa, a mother to former East African Legislative Assembly-EALA speaker and the NRM Flag bearer for MP Nakawa West, Margret Zziwa Babu Friday evening.