The Public Order and Management Act (2013)
An Act to provide for the regulation of public meetings; to provide for the duties and responsibilities of the police organizers and participants in relation to public meetings to prescribe measures for safeguarding public order; and for related matters.
The Public Order and management Act (POMA) 2013, grants the Inspector General of Police (IGP) wide discretion to permit or disallow public meetings. It’s implementation has been selective pointed to opposition gatherings and NGO/ CSO dialogues. It is being used by government to hinder counter government discussions that check the systems and operations of the government.
Ugandan police use several justifications for forcibly dispersing people at opposition gatherings, citing violations of various laws as a basis to use teargas and unleash violence. The Public Order Management Act (POMA), grants the Inspector General of Police wide discretion to permit or disallow public meetings. Opposition leadership argue that police routinely do not respond when they are notified or deny opposition requests to hold gatherings. In some instances, opposition organizers have been told on the day of the event that the site is no longer available.
Ugandans have a right to gather and hear information. The reckless use of tear gas injures people and jeopardizes a free and fair democratic atmosphere of campaigns and gatherings and it has interfered with the people’s right to freedom of expression.
The government should be in a mode to listen or even do away with the POMA Act that is prohibiting the right to assembly and information hearing in the country if democracy and freedom are to prevail.
Let us join our voices and rise against this POMA Act. Let us not sit back and watch our freedoms being washed down the trench of tyranny and repression.
Here’s one way to stand against POMA; Write a letter to the Inspector General of Police requesting for permission to have any kind of gathering. It can be a birthday, burial, public debate among others. You can it make as comic and funny as you like. Remember these letters are to be delivered to the IGP’s office.
Letters written by different people from across the country ready to be delivered to the Inspector General Police
Many people have already started writing letters which will soon reach the IGP’s desk! Join the league!
SPEAK UP! Let your Voice be heard.