News / Africa

    Uganda Groups Oppose Public Order Bill

    Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, November 30, 2012.
    Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, November 30, 2012.
    Peter Clottey
    Uganda’s civil society and opposition groups are scheduled to meet Internal Affairs Minister General Aronda Nyakairima today (Thursday) to complain about a proposed law they say could undermine the nation’s constitution.

    “This meeting is to first of all educate this new minister about how bad this bill (Public Order Management Bill 2011) really is,” said Geoffrey Ssebaggala, the national coordinator of Uganda’s Human Rights Network for Journalists, (HRNJ-U).

    “We will also target the speaker of parliament because they violated an article in the constitution,” said Ssebaggala. “We will also reach out to the international community by targeting their local offices here to bring this to their attention, so they can inform their countries [so] they can think about what they can do to support Ugandans to be free to exercise their freedom.”

    The bill, which President Yoweri Museveni has yet to sign into law, was passed by parliament Tuesday. It demands that organizers of public rallies, gatherings and protests first seek police permission.

    Those opposing the bill say it violates the rights of Ugandans to freely associate, a right guaranteed by the constitution. Ssebaggala says they met Wednesday and reached a series of decisions.

    “We resolved to go to court and challenge the constitutionality of this bill,” he said. “But at the same time, we also realized that Article 92 of the constitution prohibits parliament to pass any law to alter the decision or judgment of any court.

    “This was [the same] bill which was quashed by the constitutional court,” he continued. “It said the police have no powers granting permission to Ugandans who would want to have an assembly to express their grievances.”

    “The government of Uganda does not believe in constitutionalism,” Ssebaggala said. “They are only interested in curtailing freedoms …”

    Ssebaggala said the groups plan to begin educating the public about a citizen’s rights and freedoms under the constitution as well as the dangers associated with the passage of the Public Order Management Bill.

    But supporters of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) defend the bill, saying it will enable the security agencies to prevent violence associated with protests and demonstrations.

    Ssebaggala says the groups have called on the international community to pressure Museveni not to sign the bill into law.

    “The international community must engage the Uganda government, but we know even when they engage in talks, this government will not listen. The language they will listen to will be cutting aid or threatening to cut aid that might go to the police,” said Ssebaggala.
    Clottey interview with Geoffrey Ssebaggala, (HRNJ-U).
    Clottey interview with Geoffrey Ssebaggala, (HRNJ-U).i
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: James Bill Ochamgiu from: Nairobi
    August 13, 2013 11:54 PM
    The legal Uganda law society and other human right defenders should look at bill of rights and call for a referendum to reinstate the bill. This is should be taken as an urgent matter. Meanwhile the UN Geneva rapporteur on human rights should come to Uganda to assess the situation human right abuse and come up with a way forward.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora