The opposition Democratic Party (DP) has announced nationwide protests against police brutality that has been meted out against Ugandans especially political actors who have had their rights violated.
Addressing the media at City House in Kampala on Tuesday, the party President, Norbert Mao condemned the recent acts by Police by blocking all activities organized by different opposition politicians in the country.
Mao’s address follows a ban by Police of all music performances and shows organized by singer and Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine.
The singer is allegedly under house arrest. Police said in a statement this week that Bobi Wine was not allowed to proceed with the said concerts because he had failed to fulfill certain legal requirements.
“It is our duty as the people who operate the political sphere, to hold a peaceful demonstration against police brutality at a date we shall announce,” Mao told reporters.
“Speaking as a lawyer, the Police have violated his [Bobi Wine] rights to practice his trade, he is a performing artiste and his rights are provided for by under a constitution,” Mao said.
Mao cited the example of Parliament which has got a lot of professionals each of whom are practicing their trade freely.
“They violated his rights to equal treatment under the law which is not an opinion but a directive.”
“As DP, we condemn in the strongest terms the violation of Hon Kyagulanyi’s constitutional rights to participate his trade and his right to equal treatment under the law,” Mao said.
He thus revealed that the party shall hold a protest against police brutality given a number of opposition activities that have been prohibited. His concerns come in the wake of a crackdown by Police on numerous activities of opposition party, FDC in several towns.
“We have suffered a lot of brutality from police; our Jinja reunion was disrupted, Col. Besigye’s radio programs being stopped as well as the ban on Bobi Wine music performances,” Mao said.
“We want all Ugandans to know that the role of the Police is to keep law and order but not to take sides in a political contest. The reason we plan to protest is because police brutality has turned the current political environment to be extremely hostile to democracy in the country,” Mao said.
Mao said opposition figures shall hold the demonstration as a show of unity, adding that he believes that even though there are disagreements within the democracy seeking forces, there are issues over which they should unite, such as opposing police brutality.
The DP President said the demonstration will also be agitating for reforms to detoxify the political environment and they will be non violent.
“We have got a rack of activities to make sure nobody disenfranchises us; we shall fight on for our rights,” Mao added.
Mao observed that the party will in the due course announce the date they will be holding the nationwide protests.