BY DEO WALUSIMBI
Non government organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) throughout Luwero district have vehemently rejected the “stringent” Public Order Management law, which is still on shelves, pending Presidential signature, to become enforceable by Police.
While at consultative meeting organized by the Luwero District NGO Forum under the Citizens Alliance (Call Uganda) on Saturday 6th October, the attendees who work with different NGOs and CSOs in Luwero, voted against the bill by show of hands, on account that the law contradicts the dictates of the supreme of law of the land which guarantees various rights and freedoms.
“After having a guided discussion in our meeting ,we have enormously resolved to reject this Public Order Management law in Luwero, it will not work here I am telling you because it is un constitutional” David Ssegujja, the coordinator of CODI in central region, said before announcing it officially to a crowd in Kasana Town at a parallel rally in Luwero.
The motion to reject the law was introduced Ms. Rebecca Mulwana, an activist working with CSOs in Luwero. “After clearly examining our mandate as it is given to us in the constitution and after critically looking at the Public Order Management law we as a civil society organizations in Luwero district have resolved that the law is not good, it was not enacted in good faith and it does not allow us to operate freely as civil society, it steps on our mandate and we have therefore decided to reject it in its totality” she proposed to the meeting.
“We have also got the duty to make all the MPs who participated in its enactment aware that we are not in favor of their law and we are not going to obey it while working” she further added. Ms. Rebecca Mulwana flanked by rights activists from the region argued that the Public Order Management law, which was enacted by Parliament in August, 2013, was un called for since it bars people from gathering with a view of discussing developmental issues, thus prompting them to carryout consultative meetings to “create awareness amongst the people, such that they get to know how this Public order management Law, which is awaiting Museveni’s signature after Deputy Speaker Oulanyah who even threw MPs out, passed it because he has a state duty to fulfill on top of working for his stomach dangerous is to their development”
Sseguja, who appeared visibly, passionately opposed to the law, attributed its passage, to the “fear which government has to the citizenry”, summing it up that government must be aware that it hasn’t done enough to ensure standard livelihoods for the people.
“Government fears people and that is why police acted in the way it did on the young man called Suna, who had gone to demand for his money from Mukwano group of companies because the uprising which overthrew Hosni Mubarak in Tunisia, came up like that when a youth who had been frustrated hanged himself”
Joyce Jjemba, who advocates for the better health of under privileged children in Luwero, said that “We should reject this law because it is not aimed at fostering the development of our Country”
“It is very disturbing because government has no support to children with disabilities and now they demand us to go through the long procedures of seeking police permission before we meet to offer our services” she narrated.
On his part, Claudius Rwetarako, maintained that the Public Order Management law is “targeting Civil Society Organizations and if it had been effected, we wouldn’t be able to be here with you because we are more than three people yet it says that if you exceed three p, you are supposed to ask for permission from Police”
He contended that “ Though we have the capacity which government is afraid of, as NGOs, we are not against government but for us we are contributing to different sectors but we wonder the kind of leaders we have, when government reacts by making bad laws that are aimed at gagging us”
“We are interested in seeing good social services such as roads, schools, heath facilities etc but not anything else”
Luwero District, whose CSOs and NGOs have joined hands to say no to the stringent Public Order Management Bill, is so crucial to the political life of the ruling National Resistance Movement, being the strong base for the establishment’s guerilla fighters, during the 1986, and revolution.