On February 9, 2016 President Museveni ordered police and other authorities to stop arresting people for being “idle and disorderly”. He has recited the order which has never been implemented in the SOTN2017
The president made the first order while addressing his supporters at Kazo grounds in the new Nansana Municipality, Wakiso District
He also tasked his aides at State House to remind him to engineer the repeal of the law criminalising ‘idle and disorderly’ persons.
No such legislation to repeal the order has been brought before the House more than a year later.
Section 167 of the Penal Code Act criminalises wandering persons, those gambling for cash or prostituting as being idle and disorderly and if convicted in court, they, if prostitutes or involved in soliciting for immoral purpose, face a maximum seven years imprisonment. Other aspects of the offence attract three months in jail or Shs3,000 fine or both.
Critics say the law on being idle and disorderly, said it was enacted during the colonial era and is now outmoded and oppressive and should be abolished. Uganda Prisons officials have complained that prisons are crowded with petty offenders, most of them on remand, imposing unnecessary burden on resource-constrained detention facilities.