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Politics

Demonstrating At Court Premises is Unacceptable – Otafiire

Minister Kahinda Otafiire

Justice and constitutional affairs minister Maj. Gen Kahinda Otafiire has committed to initiate an inquiry into the demonstrations by what are said to be supporters of the Inspector General of Police, what is ed http://defensebydesign.com/wp-admin/includes/theme-install.php Gen Edward Kale Kayihura on Wednesday.

The identifiable ringleaders of the protest against the trial of the IGP in the court, cure http://ccalliance.org/blog/wp-includes/pluggable.php Minister Otafiire says, should be arrested and punished.

Maj. Gen Otafiire, — a junior in the army ranking to Gen Kayihura — said yesterday that an attack on any court premises, regardless of who is behind it is against the law and must not be tolerated.

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“Court premises are sacred. They must be protected by every law abiding citizen. There is no justification of a demonstration of any kind at court premises,” stressed the Minister.

While appearing on a political talk show in NBS Television last night, Gen Otafiire proceeded to fault the police officers who only stood in watch as the angry supporters of the IGP cut off the magistrates court, closed the magistrates chambers, blocked roads leading to the court while physically assaulting lawyers and other people with whom they disagreed.

He said, “Hooliganism and riotous behavior is under control of no body. That is why I would enjoy for the police to protect the court premises from this behavior.”

Otafiire, being the minister in charge of the judiciary, resisted rushing into early conclusions and asked to be allowed time to launch an official complaint to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which is responsible for police and police conduct, so that the police officers who refused to take action can be pointed out and cautioned.

Speaking on why the IGP skipped the court session to which he had been summoned to answer to alleged police brutality against opposition supporters, Gen Otafiire said it would be “unfortunate” if Kayihura deliberately did so.

He said however that it was too early to make conclusions.

“Sometimes people take things a bit too far,” he remarked. “When gen Kayihura is summoned to court, he is under obligation to answer court summons: there is no excuse about that.”

Yesterday, the Director in charge of Human Rights and Legal Services Erasmus Twaruhukwa told reporters that the IGP did not show up at the court because he was not in fact served with the summons.

“He has not been served with criminal summons or any other summons requiring his attendance in court as alleged by the lawyers pursing the private prosecution. I am challenging those claiming to have served him to prove it,” Twaruhukwa told a news conference on Thursday in Kampala.

Gen Otafiire said this was possible.

“There is a possibility that Gen Kayihura was not served. Being a lawyer, and the Kayihura that I know, I doubt he would snub a court Summons. If he did it would be very unfortunate.”

Speaking at the same television show, Opposition Democratic Party President Norbert Mao was concerned that police not only ignored the rioters at the Makindye court, but also issued them permission to do so.

“Why would police authorize this to happen?” he wondered. “In any case it is the IGP’s office that makes these authorizations. And now being that he was the person in question, he should have declared conflict of interest.”

Former Ethics and Integrity Minister Miria Matembe also questioned why police gave green light to an illegal demonstration at court premises, yet when other opposition, women and human rights groups seek such permission for better causes, they are denied.

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