Police have suspended mobilisation activities of the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) party, citing blatant bleaches of the given guidelines.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, Deputy IGP Maj Gen Tumusiime Kasigazi said they will not look on as the “country burns” due to NUP’s violent rallies that have at times led to loss of lives while at the same time promoting sectarianism.
“While we completely support the right of individuals, groups and other citizens to peacefully gather or assemble, and make their views on matters of public policy, we have noticed that, in all areas where the NUP mobilization activities have been carried out, there have been total breaches to the guidelines, thus causing public disorder, unnecessary traffic jams, loss of business, malicious damage to property,” the statement by the Deputy IGP reads in part.
He said, for instance in Mbarara City, NUP “rowdy” supporters vandalized a Toyota Hiace, caused and traffic accidents, including a fatal one in Hoima City, on September 11, 2023, where Norman Mugisa and 10 others got serious injuries during the party convoy.
“Furthermore, in Kasana, Luwero District, the mobilization activity, was used to incite violence, promote sectarianism, make illegitimate calls for the removal of an elected government, and issuance of defamatory statements against the Person of The President of the Republic of Uganda,” Kasigazi added.
He explained that the Police mandate is to regulate public meetings under section 32(1) of the Police Act, they have to uphold rule of law, in liaison with other stakeholders and will respond appropriately, against all perpetrators of incitement to violence that can lead to civil unrest throughout the country.
“In view of the above blatant breaches of the guidelines, the activities of the NUP are immediately suspended. This announcement is a follow-up to our communication of the 12.09.2023 to the NUP leadership, halting the planned mobilization activities and opening of offices, until such a time that they are ready to comply with the guidelines and rule of law,” he said.
“We are sending this strong message, that our country, Uganda, will not wait for its villages, towns, urban centres and cities to burn, before taking action to protect its citizens and property. We are going to put an end to the mob mentality, bullying and intimidating tactics of NUP radicals, against innocent civilians and law enforcers,” he added.
However, the suspension came in when NUP was concluding its first phase of the country-wide mobilisation activities.
“Today has marked the end of the first phase of our country-wide mobilisation activities. From the West to the East, and lastly, the North, we have been traversing several districts, informing the people of the realities in regards to the misgovernance of their country and also reminding them of their cardinal duty in these critical times,” NUP alerted yesterday.
“We have been received warmly in all the places we’ve been. The people are speaking one language in all these regions; they want change. In due course, we will be communicating our plans for the second phase of our activities, particularly in the central,” NUP added.