Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni on Thursday assented to the controversial Public Order Management Bill making it an act of parliament.
This was revealed by the country’s government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo in a tweet on Thursday evening.
On August 6 2013, the Ugandan parliament approved the Public Management Bill under controversial circumstances. Four members of parliament who tried to block its debate were suspended from the house for alleged ‘misconduct’.
The Bill imposes wide ranging restrictions on public meetings and gives the police unprecedented powers to prohibit and disperse public gatherings of a political nature. In its current form, for example, the Bill gives the police discretionary powers to prevent a gathering of as few as three people in a public place to discuss political issues.
The bill drew sharp criticism from in and outside Uganda.
International rights group Amnesty International condemned the bill saying “The Bill represents a serious blow to open political debate in a country where publicly criticizing the government is already fraught with risk,”.
However, the bill is now an act of parliament.