MPs Must Seek Permission to Hold Joint Consultations – Police

Police Spokesman Asan Kasingye

Police has backtracked on its recent directive limiting Members of Parliament to hold Age Limit Bill consultations only in their respective constituencies. Police on Monday clarified that the legislators will instead secure permission from police authorities before holding joint meetings outside their jurisdictions.

A directive had been issued weeks ago by the Director in Charge of Police Operations, Asuman Mugenyi urging that MPs should strictly consult in their constituencies.

But the decision has since met criticism and resistance from some members of the public and the opposition accusing police of involving in partisan politics. Winfred Kiiza who is the Leader of Opposition last week vowed not to allow police to tell MPs how to conduct their business.

During a news conference on Monday, the Police Spokesperson, Asan Kasingye said that the directive was issued in good spirit given the increasing threats against legislators.

Kasingye said that police would wish to ensure that it is aware of all legislators that are to consult in a particular area to provide the necessary security.

“Our responsibility is to protect all members of Parliament who are either in support or not; the purpose is not that they should tell people what they expect instead they are there to listen to what people tell them,” Kasingye said.

“If there are MPs who want to go to another constituency, let the police in that area be informed; anyone going to consult in an area that is not ordinarily his must inform us first,” he added.

Kasingye noted that the police shall then carry out a threat analysis and handle the situation accordingly.

“If they think having those people would cause pandemonium or breach of peace, they will inform you on whether to go on with the consultations with the listed people or not,” he said.

This follows numerous clashes between police officers and opposition supporters across the country at rallies, in which some have been injured and businesses disrupted. In Rukungiri, a 22 year old boy was killed in similar chaos.

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