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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid