Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine may not kick-off his nationwide consultation meetings Monday as earlier scheduled for allegedly failing to meet all the provisions of the Public Order Management Act (POMA), SoftPower News has learnt.
The POMA regulates public assemblies in the country.
The legislator who has already declared intentions of standing for President in next year’s General Elections, is allowed by Article 103 of the constitution to consult the electorate in preparation for nomination as a candidate 12 months before the date of nomination.
On December 3, Bobi Wine wrote to the Electoral Commission notifying the electoral body of the same. He would later come out with his initial 7 day program of consultations starting tomorrow Monday January 6 from his own constituency in Wakiso district. The meeting is scheduled to be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Ggayaza.
He intends to thereafter be in Gulu, Lira, Adjumani, Yumbe, Arua and Zombo on January 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 respectively.
This week on January 3, the lawmaker wrote to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) notifying him of his (Bobi Wine) planned consultations. He indicated in the letter that he had as well written to the relevant local authorities and the Police Commanders of the seven districts (DPCs).
However, the musician turned politician noted that much as all other DPCs had acknowledged receipt of his letters, the ones of Kasangati town council and Lira district objected. Their counterpart of Gulu district received the letter but refused to acknowledge receipt. He instead noted that the letter should be addressed to the IGP.
In his letter, Wine appealed to the IGP to “direct the relevant police commanders and their subordinates to comply with law.”
“We also complied with the Public Order Management Act, 2013,” stated Bobi Wine in the letter.
The law requires that when writing to the IGP, the organiser clearly indicates the full name and physical and postal address of the proposed site of the public meeting, the estimated number of persons expected, the purpose of the public meeting, and any other relevant information.
It further provides that the notice is accompanied by a letter of clearance from the proprietor of the venue or place where the meeting is proposed to take place giving approval of the place to be used for the public
Did Bobi Wine meet all these requirements?
On Sunday, we contacted the Police Spokesperson, CP Fred Enanga seeking answers to this question. Enanga noted that much as Bobi Wine notified the IGP, he did not attach all the necessary documentation required by law including letters from the proprietors of the venues he intends to hold his meetings and proof that he had written to the local authorities as claimed in his letter.
“In the letter, he indicated that he had met all the legal requirements. When we talk about legal requirements, one has to notify the local council and the Police. Under the POMA, one has to attach supporting documents on the letter to the IGP,” Enanga said.
“These include indicating that the venue is going to be at this place, supporting proof from the owners of the venue, numbers of participants expected, time and purpose of the meeting”
“The communication which he wrote to the IGP indicates the places Gayaza, Lira and others but the other attachments in support of the POMA are not there,” says Enanga.
The Police spokesperson now says that Bobi Wine’s request “will be handled on a case by case basis” and will give more information to the public on the matter on Monday after getting guidance from the Police Director Legal.
Asked for a Yes or No answer as to whether the ‘People Power’ leader will hold the consultations tomorrow, Enanga could. Instead, he tasked this news website to state whether we were privy to any supporting documents presented by Bobi Wine as required by law.
“When you look at the documents provided by Hon Robert Kyagulanyi, are they complete? Do they show you the filled up forms showing that they had provided those details to the Police as required? Do they show you their letters to the area local councils? All those details are not there,” noted Enanga.
Our efforts to reach the ‘People Power’ spokesperson, Joel Ssenyonyi for a comment, did not yield, since could not pick our telephone calls.