The IPOD Chairperson and Forum for Democratic Change- FDC party Secretary General, Nathan Nandala Mafabi welcomed the judgment in a statement issued on Tuesday. He said the judgment will aid peaceful political activities.
The Interparty Organisation for Dialogue- IPOD
has commended the constitutional court for nullifying Section 8 of the Public
Order Management Act- POMA 2013.
This particular section granted discretionary
powers to the Inspector General of Police-IGP or his representative to stop or
prevent a public meeting whose convener has not met the requirements as
stipulated in the law.
The law provided that that one writes to the IGP
notifying him or her of the meeting at least three days prior and gets feedback
on the same.
However, on June 27th 2016, Human Rights Network Uganda,
the Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations –DENIVA, the Association
of Female Lawyers FIDA, Muwanga Kivumbi, the Butambala County MP and Bishop Zac
Niringiye filed a petition challenging the constitutionality of the said
On March 26th, 2020, four of the five member bench of
the Constitutional court concurred with
applicants, saying the provisions violate the constitutional freedom of assembly
and the right to demonstrate peacefully.
The IPOD Chairperson and Forum
for Democratic Change- FDC party Secretary General, Nathan Nandala Mafabi
welcomed the judgment in a statement issued on Tuesday. He said the judgment
will aid peaceful political activities.
"As leaders of Political Parties under
IPOD, we appreciate the important guidance given by the constitutional court on
this matter, which we believe will contribute immensely towards peaceful
conduct of political activities, an important ingredient of any healthy
democracy," reads part of the statement. Opposition members have often
raised concern on the interpretation of POMA and accused government of using
police to crackdown on their activities.
Last year, the IPOD summit noted the concern
and decided to come up with regulations that would guide the implementation of POMA. The Regulations were drafted and passed by
the IPOD Council and forwarded to the office of the Prime Minister for assessment
by the National Security council before they are presented to parliament for
consideration. This is yet to happen.
Nandala who applauded court for "rejection of the notion
that police have ’supernatural powers’ to determine that a particular public
gathering or protest should not be allowed because it will result in a breach
of peace" has called upon Government, security and all Political Parties
to respect the judgment and work together towards lawful, peaceful and orderly
Police has since indicated its decision to appeal
the judgment in collaboration with the Attorney General.