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Police Warn MPs Against Oil Bill Protests

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order http://ddc.com.sa/components/com_k2/helpers/permissions.j16.php geneva; font-size: small;”>MPs are trying to block a move by a section of NRM members to reinstate the Energy Minister’s powers to grant, page revoke licenses and negotiate petroleum agreements as presented in the original Bill Petroleum (Exploration, erectile Development and Production) 2012.

A group of MPs led by Medard Ssegona and Theodore Ssekikuubo walked out of the House week, protesting against what they termed as a “coup against the wishes of majority Ugandans.”

They further vowed to mobilize Ugandans to protest against the move which they say it “anti-people.”

But Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi told the House that failure to recommit clause 9 “is tantamount to removing the President from the control of the oil resource.”

MPs say move to recommit the clause is “anti-people” and “unacceptable.”

Police on saturday said the MPs have not informed them about their intended protest which is “the standard practice the world over, in other established democracies, as well as sister Commonwealth countries.”

“We would like to inform the general public that the organizers of this planned demonstration, have neither notified the Police, nor provided the requisite details as required by procedure, to enable the Police provide security, and ensure that the demonstration is peaceful,” said Deputy Police Publicist Vincent Ssekate.

“Any planned demonstration or procession, in this instance, is therefore, unlawful, and shall not be allowed to take place.”

Below is the Police statement in full:

The Uganda Police Force has received reliable information that a section of Members of Parliament intend to use the pretext of a peaceful demonstrations, allegedly in protest of reconsidering the oil bill on Tuesday next week.

While the Constitution grants the right to demonstrate peacefully and unarmed, this right comes with conditions and responsibilities.

The overriding condition is that, any person exercising this right must do so without prejudicing the rights of others or public interest. Public interest includes national security.

Under Article 212 of the Constitution, it is the constitutional responsibility of the Police to safeguard these rights, by preserving the peace, maintaining law and order, and detecting and preventing crime.

This is particularly so in situations where the exercise of these rights is likely to result in conflict of interests of parties involved or affected, or put innocent lives, and property, in imminent danger.

It is for this reason that Section 32(1) of the Police Act empowers the Police to regulate the conduct of public meetings and processions.

In executing its regulatory function in regard to public meetings and processions, the Police require organizers of public meetings and processions to notify the Police, in advance of any intended public meeting or procession.

The purpose of the notice is to enable the Police plan for the security of the function, ensure that the rights of other persons not involved are protected, and protect national security.

In the notice, the organizers are required to provide details of the venue, time and number of persons expected, in case of public meetings; and the intended route, time and number of persons expected, in case of processions.

This, in fact, is the standard practice the world over, in other established democracies, as well as sister Commonwealth countries.

We would like to inform the general public that the organizers of this planned demonstration, have neither notified the Police, nor provided the requisite details as required by procedure, to enable the Police provide security, and ensure that the demonstration is peaceful.

Any planned demonstration or procession, in this instance, is therefore, unlawful, and shall not be allowed to take place.

We would like to inform the general public not to be lured into participating in an illegal activity by going to Parliament without informing the concerned authorities.

The Police shall continue to cooperate with the public, and other security agencies, to maintain law and order, prevent crime, and ensure the safety and security of the country.

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