Uganda: Bobi to Resume Public Meetings for 2021 Bid

Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi (also known as Bobi Wine).
17 February 2020

Kampala — Police have said they have not yet received instructions to respond to Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine's, notice to resume consultative meetings for his 2021 presidential candidature.

Mr Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, yesterday said they had received Bobi Wine's letter notifying them about his intended consultative meeting on February 24 at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel but he had not yet seen a response from the police director of operations.

"We have seen this letter but I have to get a response from the director of operations, which I have not seen. When I see it, I will give a position from police as required by the law," Mr Enanga said.

Section 6; (1), (b) of the Public Order Management Act (POMA), which governs public gatherings states: "Upon receipt of a notification under Section 5, where it is not possible to hold a public meeting... the authorised officer shall, in writing within 48 hours after receipt of the notice, notify the organiser or his or her agent that it is not possible to hold the proposed public meeting and the notice shall be delivered to the organiser's address as stated in the notice of intention to hold a public meeting."

On Friday, Bobi Wine wrote to the Inspector General of Police notifying him about his intended consultative meeting.

A copy of the letter seen by this newspaper indicates that it had been received and stamped on February 14 by Electoral Commission, chairman of Local Council of Pope Paul Zone in Rubaga, Mr Charles Kevu Nsubuga, and Kampala Metropolitan police commander.

Others who received the letter include Katwe Police Station regional commander and Katwe Division police commander.

Asked why police had not responded to the letter, Mr Enanga said: "We are still assessing many things. Already we have noticed that the 1,200 people [mentioned in the notice] might not be suitable. When I get a response I will duly give it to you." Mr Joel Ssenyonyi, the spokesperson of the People Power movement, yesterday said they were waiting for police to call them for a meeting to streamline the traffic flow at the venue, risk impact assessment, among other requirements.

"In most cases, police come up at the last minute to stop our activities and we wonder why even after we have written to them in time. We have written early and it is now police to set a date and call us for a meeting so that we can go and iron out issues that they could have with our letter," Mr Ssenyonyi said.

"We have been waiting and when police call us after setting the appropriate date, we shall go and we discuss," he added.

In response, Mr Enanga said: "You do not interrogate these people well. The whole thing ended there when we left the meeting and they have not presented themselves to us. If they come, we shall talk."

Other attempts

On December 20, the EC cleared Bobi Wine and three other presidential aspirants to consult the masses about their candidatures. The others were Mr John Herbert Nkugabwa, Mr Fred Mwesigye and Mr Joseph Mwambazi.

However, on January 6 when Bobi Wine attempted to hold his first consultative meeting in Gayaza, police cordoned off the venue and had violent clashes with his supporters.

The EC later called for a mediation meeting between police and Bobi Wine and other presidential aspirants.

Police and the aspirants under EC guidance agreed to meet separately later to discuss and harmonise the working modalities about the meetings.

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