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Presidential Term Limits Debate Blocked in Mbarara

A public dialogue to discuss the restoration of presidential term limits ended prematurely in Mbarara town on Monday after Anti-riot police ordered the organisers to leave.
Anti-riot police at the venue of the public dialogue in Mbarara which was blocked on Monday.

Audio 1

A public dialogue to discuss the restoration of presidential term limits ended prematurely in Mbarara town on Monday after Anti-riot police ordered the organisers to leave.

 

The Mbarara district police commander Dickens Bindeba says police closed the meeting because it was illegal.

 

Bindeba says the organizers did not seek permission from police to hold a public dialogue at Independence Park in Mbarara Municipality as required by the law.

 

The DPC said the only request police received from the organisers was talking of August 17th and not 20th.

 

He said police was ready to provide them security if they had honoured their programs as stipulated in the letter sent to authorities.

 

//Cue in: “We were surprised…

Cue out:…and stop them.”//

 

The public dialogue under the theme “Leaders debate on Service Delivery and Accountability”, was organized by Western Ankole Civil Society Forum in conjunction with Inter-religious Leaders Forum.

 

Retied Bishop of Kampala Zac Niringiye had earlier urged the people to take serious action against leaders who have refused to restore term limits.

 

However, his message was cut short after police ordered them to leave the place.

 

Niringiye later told the police that the struggle in which the organisers are involved will one day also benefit the police that is now harassing them to defend leaders who seem not to be accountable to the people.

In May and June this year, similar gatherings failed to take place in Lira after organisers cited intimidation from the district security committee.

Both Resident District Commissioner Susan Akany, who is the chairperson district security committee, and the district police commander Robert Ssematta, claimed they have given permission to the group to hold the gathering.

 

Civil society organizations in Lira involved in promoting good governance and accountability then accused the RDC and police of violating the freedom of speech.