Parliament. Four Opposition Members of Parliament yesterday demanded that the Inspector General of Police, Mr Martins Okoth-Ochola, be summoned to appear before the Committee on Human Rights to explain why police continue to foil activities of Opposition political parties.
Speaking during a press conference at Parliament, Buhwejju County MP Francis Mwijukye (FDC) said the IGP needs to explain why the police disrupt meetings and rallies of FDC despite the organisers informing them in advance.
“The IGP used to be a different Ochola before he was appointed. Does he know where (Gen Kale) Kayihura is? We have asked the parliamentary committee on Human Rights to summon the police leadership to answer these concerns,” Mr Mwijukye said.
He said the police have themselves contravened sections of the Public Order Management Act (POMA) to foil Opposition meetings.
The MPs, who included Mr Roland Kaginda, (Rukungiri Municipality, FDC), Mr Fred Turyamuhweza, (Rujumbara County, FDC) and Mr Joseph Ssewungu, (Kalungu County, DP), wondered why FDC activities have been blocked in Jinja, Tororo and Mbarara.
Mr Ssewungu said police are violating the rights of association by people who subscribe to different political parties.
Mr Kaginda wondered how other political parties would be able to compete with the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party when they are being blocked from mobilising for 2021 General Election.
He said the FDC president, Mr Patrick Amuriat Oboi, and former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye have been out in the field to mobilise supporters basing on the roadmap that was issued by the Electoral Commission last December.
They also condemned the act of switching off radio stations in Kabale and Jinja towns on the orders of resident district commissioners with intentions of suppressing the speech of Dr Besigye.
“The RDCs say they represent President Museveni in the districts. This means they switch off radio stations with the President’s knowledge. So, the President should also come out and sort out this problem of RDCs” Mr Turyamuhweza said.
The Bugiri Woman MP, Ms Agnes Wejuli Taaka (FDC), who is the vice chairperson of the Committee on Human Rights, told Daily Monitor that there was no official communication from MPs demanding that the police chiefs be summoned.
Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga and his deputy Polly Namaye was not available for a comment as our repeated calls went unanswered by press time.