Wednesday June 27 2018

IGP Ochola blocks planned women protest against kidnaps, murders

Activists under their umbrella body, Women’s

Activists under their umbrella body, Women’s Protest Working Group meeting the deputy IGP, Brig Sabiiti Muzeyi and other senior officers at Police headquarters in Naguru, Kampala on June 16, 2018 over women kidnaps and murders in the country. COURTESY PHOTO  

By JOSEPH KATO

KAMPALA. Inspector General of Police, Martins Okoth Ochola, has blocked a peaceful demonstration in protest against the rampant women kidnaps and murders in the country.
Women activists wrote to Mr Ochola on June 13 seeking police protection during what they called one million march over the kidnaps and killings of women and children in the country.

Mr Ochola outlined reasons for his refusal to grant permission for the peaceful demonstration in his Tuesday letter written by CP John Nuwagira, who is also the commissioner in charge of police operations.
“This serves to inform you that the intended demonstration to raise awareness, express displeasure about the spate of killings and kidnap of women/girls cannot be allowed to go on as scheduled,” the letter reads in part.
The one million march organised by the Women’s Protest Working Group was slated for June 30, 2018. The demonstration was to be spearheaded by controversial Ugandan scholar, Dr Stella Nyanzi.
Police said the reasons outlined for the demonstration have all been adequately addressed publicly by President Museveni, concerned ministers and security chiefs among.

“On the June 11th, 2018, the concerned ministers of internal affairs, security, defence and veteran affairs and security chiefs addressed the country. They were given live coverage on TVs and later print media regarding security. Issues raised took centre stage and were adequately addressed,” CP Nuwagira’s letter further reads.
Police further elaborates that President Museveni in his June 20th address to parliament on the security of the country the issue of the intended demonstration was inclusive. “He [Mr Museveni] elaborately gave the strategies for sustainable security and both for the short and long run. Thank you for the concerns raised, and hope to continue with a great cooperation,” police letter climaxes.

However, the organisers vowed to proceed with the planned protest regardless of police disapproval.
“After a fortnight of waiting for Police to grant us permission for the Women’s March, they have handed us a rejection letter stating that the president, security minister and organs have addressed the situation. The march will still go on as planned,” the group said on social media.
At least 82 cases of kidnap and murders involving women have been recorded between February and June claiming lives of 10 women.

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