Ugandans at heart,
I have obtained the final copy of the Public Order Management Bill from good friends in the president’s office. Still reading it but thus far, it does appear some substantial changes were made to the 2009 and 2011 versions. In making laws, you have an original bill which is discussed by parliament and then a final one (ACT OF PARLIAMENT) after amendments which is sent to the president for signing. After parliament handled the POMB everyone looked for the final copy, but it was very hard to find.
However, the legal and parliamentary committee report on POMB was available with all recommendations which informed the debate in the house. Just for your information, contents of the report of the committee on legal and parliamentary affairs were altered during the final debate in parliament and thus they do not reflect the current position. We have been criticising the original bill and the positions that the NRM re-introduced on the floor in the recomittal if you know what Am saying.
Clauses 8, 9, and 11 are so contestable. Hope the lady Immaculate that Kayihura posted on UAH can have something to say.
I also want Ugandans to know that there was training with the Ugandan Police on public order management in the run up to CHOGM, with the help of The London Metropolitan Police. This one week training took place in Entebbe at the Imperial Resort Hotel.
In a multi-sectoral meeting involving NGOs, Senior Police Officers such as Grace Turagumanawe, Edward Ochom and the IGP himself, Nicholas Opiyo[current ULS president] was seconded to a team of 4 with Commissioner Aliro Omara, Patricia Nduru of the UHRC and two other persons from the British High Commission to draft the public order and demonstration guidelines. These guidelines were adopted, validated and widely circulated by the UHRC.
In response to the guidelines and the Court petition (note not ruling) in the Muwanga Kivumbi petition, what later became known as the Rugunda Instrument – SI 53 of 2008 was drafted and gazetted to virtually outlaw public demonstration in every place in Uganda.
These guidelines were roundly rejected and subsequently annulled, by infection, by the decision/ruling of the Constitutional Court. The first draft of the POMB then resurfaced. It is believed that it was leaked from cabinet, and it has the handwriting of the IGP, Gen.Kayihura, instructing his Director Legal to make sure their proposal was included in the bill. The draft bill was forwarded by the PS Min. of Internal Affairs, Dr. Stephen Kagoda. The belief at the time was that the bill was also in part due to the Buganda riots and the Mabira demonstrations.
It was at this stage that the police inserted the firearms clause permitting the police to use, as a first line of defence, live firearms. The debate received massive revulsion in public debate and was shelved only for it to resurface after the 2011 electrons which was the height of the walk to work demonstrations.