"Adhere to Guidelines or Face Blockage" - Police warns Bobi Wine ahead of his Countrywide Tour
In a stern message to Robert Kyagulanyi, commonly known as Bobi Wine, the President of the National Unity Platform (NUP), the police have issued a warning that his intended nationwide mobilization activities will be blocked if they fail to adhere to the set security guidelines.
Kyagulanyi's announcement of his plans to traverse the country, open NUP party offices, and mobilize support prompted a response from the police, urging him to work in coordination with law enforcement to ensure the smooth conduct of his activities.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga addressed the media on Monday, stating that while political parties are permitted to carry out their activities, they must provide specific details about the locations of their events. This requirement comes as a response to previous incidents of vandalism, accidents, and breaches of peace during political gatherings.
"We therefore ask them to provide proof of permission from the owners of the premises." Enanga explained.
This statement was made in reference to the need for organizers to secure permission from property owners where the events are planned.
In response, NUP Secretary General Lewis Rubongoya asserted that they had already obtained the necessary permissions from relevant authorities and property owners. Rubongoya mentioned that the Inspector General of Police and the Electoral Commission were among the recipients of their communication regarding the planned mobilization activities.
While the NUP leadership remains steadfast in their intention to proceed with their activities, they issued a warning against potential security interference, citing past instances.
The police, on the other hand, have outlined their conditions for allowing the mobilization events to take place. Enanga indicated that the events should be held in enclosed and easily securable locations like town halls. He emphasized that no assemblies or rallies that could disrupt public order would be permitted.
"The only way police can provide security is when we are informed of the meeting. We are also asking organizers to adhere to procedures like having a traffic flow plan and a number of stewards in place among others." Enanga clarified.
While acknowledging that some provisions of the Police Act had been nullified by the court, which reduced their powers to disperse public meetings and rallies, Enanga noted that the same law still granted them the authority to regulate such meetings.
He concluded with a cautionary statement: "In the event organizers fail to comply with certain requirements as enshrined in the Public Order Management Act, our joint security team will respond in an appropriate and lawful manner."
As Bobi Wine and the NUP prepare to embark on their nationwide mobilization activities, tensions remain high as the police and the party leadership navigate the delicate balance between political expression and maintaining public order.
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