NRM lawmakers seek amendment to Public Order Management Bill
Posted Wednesday, February 20 2013 at 02:00
The legislators are calling for the amendment of certain clauses in the proposed law to prevent its abuse.
NRM legislators have rejected the Public Order Management Bill, 2011 and called for amendments. President Museveni, however, pleaded with them to pass it to subdue rioters with intensions of destroying people’s property.
Whereas government insists that the Bill is aimed at guiding, regulating and controlling public gatherings, assemblies, processions and meetings, the legislators said some clauses should be amended to guard against its abuse.
A source that attended the meeting but is not authorised to speak to the press, told the Daily Monitor yesterday that legislators rejected a provision in the Bill that stipulated the notification of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) about any intended demonstration or public meeting seven days in advance. “Majority of MPs rejected this provision saying there are cases of emergencies where notifying the IGP would delay peoples’ meetings,” the source said.
Mr Martin Muzaale (Buzaaya County) said the legislators agreed in principle that the Bill is important and must be passed into law. “We agreed that those controversial areas can be solved on the floor of the House. We cannot allow a situation where some sections of society demonstrate and destroy other people’s properties,” he said.
Bunya County South MP Iddi Isabirye supported the Bill but said if passed into law, it should not be used to witch-hunt members with divergent ideological views. The government chief whip, Ms Kasule Lumumba defended government, saying there is need to regulate public meetings to quell riots.
Other MPs suggested that Clause 6 of the Bill be amended to have the number of people gathering for a public meeting increased from a minimum of two people to at least 50 or more. Mr David Bahati (Ndorwa East), said they are still considering the Bill clause by clause and consensus will be built on Thursday. He promised to give more details on Thursday.
The sources said yesterday that President Museveni also announced he would not occupy the new President’s office block donated by the Chinese government. “The President said that he, a revolutionary leader, cannot occupy a donated building. He said the Prime Minister and his staff was free to move in,” said the source.