The inspector general of police Martins Okoth Ochola has issued strict conditions to Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) as the party marks its 15th anniversary next week.
Ochola’s tough conditions include restricting FDC from inviting any non-party member else the celebrations will be cancelled. The guidelines issued through Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango, also include holding no procession to and from the venue of the celebrations, presenting a clearance from the venue owner and conforming to the Public Order Management Act (POMA) that prohibits unauthorized or impromptu gatherings.
Police have also vowed to cancel the event slated for December 16 should the party turn the celebrations into an open political rally. FDC was formed on December 16, 2004 and will start the celebrations to mark 15 years of existence next Monday at Namboole.
FDC’s deputy secretary general, Harold Kaija, scoffed at the conditions set for the party. Nathan Nandala Mafabi, the FDC secretary general, wrote to IGP Ochola on November 11 notifying him about their intended celebrations.
“Notice is hereby given that the FDC will celebrate her 15th anniversary on December 16th at Mandela national stadium. The event will be attended by hundreds of FDC leaders and members over the country,” Nandala stated.
FDC informed police that the celebrations will be staged in the stadium’s main parking space. Nandala asked the IGP to contact FDC in case he sought for more details about the scheduled event and venue.
Last month FDC and police were engaged in a running battle when the party decided to hold a party conference at Namboole national stadium. The conference was blocked by police and Kampala Metropolitan operations commander, Rashid Agero, smashed former FDC president Dr Kizza Besigye’s car with a gun butt and nearly swept off his car using a highly pressurised water cannon. Police had declared the indoor conference illegal.