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New POMA regulations: spontaneous meetings to be dispersed in 20 mins

Under the new Public Order Management Act (POMA) 2013 regulations, unplanned public meeting of political parties will be allowed to last for only 20 minutes.  

The new regulations have been drafted through the Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) initiative. IPOD brings together political parties represented in parliament. They are meant to iron out contentious issues in the implementation of the POMA. The law has been the basis for dispersing meetings of opposition political parties.

The detailed copy of new regulations, stipulates how a spontaneous meeting can happen and be dispersed. It also provides offence for security personnel who disperse such meetings unlawfully. This specifically reinforces Section 7 of POMA which provided that any spontaneous meeting should be dispersed immediately.   

“A spontaneous public meeting referred to under section 7 of the Act shall not exceed a period of at least twenty minutes from the time a spontaneous meeting commenced,” the regulations read.

Authorized officers dispersing spontaneous meeting will required to take precautions to disperse gatherings lawfully. The regulations stipulates precautions as; “giving warning and notice for all the participants to vacant within ten minutes from the time the notice to vacate is issued, or escorting the organiser or any other participant in the spontaneous meeting out of the public place.”

An officer who disperses spontaneous meetings without taking precautions “commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or fine not exceeding twenty currency points or both.” Twenty currency points is equivalent to Shs 400,000.     

The regulations have decentralized power of receiving notifications of political parties from inspector general of police as prescribed in POMA Section 3 to any officer at or above rank of inspector.     

“An authorized officer means a police officer of or above the rank of inspector. There shall be an authorized officer at every district,” the regulation read.   

Authorized officers will be required to respond to notifications from political parties in 48 hours. A no response, the regulations say, will be construed as no objection. In case of objection, police has been tasked to give plausible explanation.    

“Where the inspector general of police or authorised officer finds that it is not possible to hold the proposed public meeting at the proposed venue, he or she shall notify the organiser of the public meeting by indicating the reasons why he or she believes it is not possible to hold a public meeting on the proposed venue,” the regulation report reads.     

In circumstances where a venue has been booked by another person or party, police will be supposed to furnish political parties with details of who has already booked the place including letters that event organisers submitted to police and the response.       

The regulations also stipulate places unsuitable for public meeting as a highway, street, public park or garden, market, school, university, hospital or place of worship. But meetings can be allowed in such venues when “owner(s) has expressly consented in writing.”     

The new regulations will be presented at IPOD summit scheduled for next week. IPOD council brings together leaders of political parties. The first IPOD summit took place in November last year.

It was attended by President Yoweri Museveni who is the national chairman of ruling party, National Resistance Movement (NRM) but snubbed by Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president Patrick Amuriat Oboi and his party delegation.     

Rugunda told journalists that implementation of new regulations should have started as “early as yesterday.” He did not commit timelines. “There is agreement that the law (POMA) is a good law but there has been operational challenges which have been now resolved in the regulations,” Rugunda said.     

“These regulations are going to be considered by appropriate government organs. We are aware of the importance of implementing these regulations as quickly as possible. Government will do that,” he added.

Democratic Party secretary-general, Gerald Siranda who is IPOD council chairperson said further meetings will be held with inspector general of police and Internal Affairs minister to discuss implementation of the new regulations.     

Comments

+1 #1 Odongkara 2019-05-10 09:34
If I may ask what Ugandan law is being implemented rightly?

As a country we have very good and well written laws but their implementation is the problem because the police which has the mandate to see law observance become the law breakers.

The reason police is the chief law breaker is because instead of reading into what the law says, the police is listening to "orders from above" and which are lawless orders but are the interest of a one single person out of the entire population of Uganda.

So POMA can draft grand and beautiful wonderful regulations/rules of engagement but this will mean nothing to muzee Museveni. Let's wait and see what happens next after this.
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+1 #2 naboma 2019-05-10 11:08
what is the difference between this new POMA and the Old one?

I thank FDC for boycotting IPOD and they should continue to do so. NRM knows that without dispersing the crowds brutally, it will go the Bashir, mugabe and other dictators ways.

I pity those who think Museveni will allow any meaningful organising from Opposition!!!!

That is why for me Dr Besigye is better than any opposition leader at understanding the methodology through which we can chase these rascals. If anything changes from the way POMA has been implemented, I will cut off my head-Ugandans are a gullible lot. Defiance of everything bad is the answer.

I wish all traders could close their shops for 2 weeks, all farmers refuse to sell their food to kampala dwellers, and all transport vehicles could be parked, civil servants don't turn up for work and all students stayed home for just 2 weeks-museveni would go. But we all seem to be comfortable where we are and et KB fight alone as we
cheer him on
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-2 #3 Wainanchi 2019-05-10 11:46
Good and justified measure!Any comments boiled legs?

Lakwena, Akot, Kabbaka Yekka, et al? My opinion only. Try my Dilma! You will like it, I promise you.Forward YKM!!
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0 #4 kabayekka 2019-05-10 15:12
What then do these political parties think of the citizens that are living in this independent country of Uganda?

You invite some body to your political address and in 20 minutes you are being told to live the meeting or be tear gassed and shot by rubber or live bullets! Indeed they are stupid attendants who go to such meetings and deserve what they get there!
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0 #5 Akot 2019-05-10 20:12
Uganda is a conquered country, but our people are unaware of this as it's them maintainign the tribalistic system, harassing-arresting-blocking one another so that Museveni just goes on in peace!

This makes Ugandans their own enemies, while they ensure Museveni's place & will rule them for life!

The actors helping Museveni are:

- tribal leaders,

- divisive sielnt opposition,

- tax payers, the poor/jobless living in silent, the sick without healthcare dying unnoticed!

Every section of Uganda society bolster Museveni & make him the only ruler for life!

Our people prefered Musevei to Dr Besigye & now Bobi Wine is the next to be sacrificed so that Museveni goes on in peace!...
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0 #6 Akot 2019-05-10 20:19
...Ugandans act as if Museveni is seeking a second 5 year term & have nomemories of when the demon came to power!

Musevei is clearing ground to be the only candidate at next fake election & Ugandans are helping him with such perfection by leaving Bobi Wine, as they did with Dr Besigye, to fight lonely battle, so here is practically no opposition leadership with Ugandans behind!

- Tribal leaders maintain the tribalistic system with dignity, in silence & Ugandans go along with respect,

- Ugandans ensure tax/Museveni's pocket money in peace,

So, who will bolster Bobi Wine to make sure Museveni is thrown out & before the fake election he has already won, but UNITY around Bobi will make it otherwise?

Why do Ugandans fight themselves to ensure Museveni stays on?
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0 #7 Akot 2019-05-10 20:26
Quoting naboma:


I thank FDC for boycotting IPOD and they should continue to do so. NRM knows that without dispersing the crowds brutally, it will go the Bashir, mugabe and other dictators ways.

I pity those who think Museveni will allow any meaningful organising from Opposition!

Ugandans are a gullible lot. Defiance of everything bad is the answer.

I wish all traders could close their shops for 2 weeks, all farmers refuse to sell their food to kampala dwellers, and all transport vehicles could be parked, civil servants don't turn up for work and all students stayed home for just 2 weeks-museveni would go. But we all seem to be comfortable where we are


Thanks!

Dr Besigye loves Ugandans, has joined Bobi Wine, now it's up to our people to join them & make it end the Algerian, Sudan... way!
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0 #8 Wainanchi 2019-05-11 05:13
@Naboma..you crook and spy from outside Uganda.Comw on and see amazing people if Uganda.

Ygabdans are good and hard working people and law and citizens and could not be fooled your way..

They care about Uganda democracy,freedom of religion,work,expression,duty,work,hard work.Ugandans are not in social welfare like you asshole inamerica or wherever you are dispensing your shittu and " wise," counsel.pusd off thug.
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