President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has come out to give guidance on the
issue of legitimate public assemblies after the country witnessed
running battles between opposition and police in an open letter.
“If you want to hold a public meeting (olu kungana) or a procession
(ekivulu) for a legitimate reason, you should liaise with the Police,
so that your public meeting or your procession does not endanger the
lives of other Ugandans or the safety of their property. You agree
with the Police on the route, if it involves a procession, or the
venue if it is an event or a rally”.
Museveni said those with bad motives could use the disorganization
that comes when public rallies are held in public areas.
“The problem we have with some elements of the opposition is that they
ignore this. They want to hold meetings or processions near markets
or through crowded streets. This one we cannot allow. It is the core
principle of the NRM never to allow the looting or damaging people’s
property or endangering their lives”.
He said Ugandans should guard against hate speech disguised in these
meetings which could be detrimental to the strides made.
“You cannot be rallying and processioning for an illegitimate reason –
preaching lies, preaching sectarianism, preaching hate. Those who
made mistakes to tolerate such bogusness, paid a heavy price. Did you
see the massacre in New Zealand? How about the ones in Sri Lanka
recently, in France, in Belgium, in Norway etc.? These tragedies in those areas
started with pseudo – and bogus preachers”.
He ended up castigating Uganda Police Force for using unnecessary
means shattering his car.
“However, I also disapprove of the method the Police used to break the
glass of Bobi Wine’s car. They should have towed the vehicle to
wherever they wanted him to be”.