Democratic Party whip in Parliament and Kalungu West MP, Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu has lashed at Police for arresting a number of party leaders including President Norbert Mao and the Ag Secretary General, Gerald Blacks Siranda.
Over 10 DP leaders were by Thursday afternoon detained at the Central Police Station (CPS) in Kampala.
They include among others; Chief Mbowa, Jeff Zimbe, Hakim Kiza, Bosco Lusagala, Sam Mali, Lawrence Mapeera, Wagala Lubega, Baker Segawa, David Kayiwa, Dalaus Ssemakula, Faisal Matende, Geofrey Mawanda, Francis Kizito, John Labson and Jonathan Tenywa.
These were arrested as they were matching to the Constitutional Square to launch a campaign against lifting of the presidential age limit.
The group said they were going to collect signatures of all Ugandans that are against the amendment.
Ssewungu while speaking to press at CPS accused police for acting against the Public Order Management Act by failing the party’s planned activities.
“The DPC (Joseph Bakaleke) a talked of the Public Order Management Act and we asked him to quote for us any section that stops us from conducting a public rally; the only section of the law is a requirement to inform police which we did,” Ssewungu said.
“We informed police three days ago as per the law; so far no charges have been preferred against the arrested and I doubt they will find any.”
Ssewungu further accused police of engaging in partisan politics.
“Why is police failing our activities yet NRM freely held their meeting at Kati Kati restaurant yesterday; how do you arrest the party president and the Secretary General?”
Asked whether the party would continue with the campaign despite the arrest of the leaders, Ssewungu said, “We can’t bow down; the party president is coming out and we shall restart the campaign; I am now heading to Masaka and we shall be launching tomorrow.”
However, Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Emilian Kayima told reports at CPS that DP’s actions were in contravention of the Public Order Management Act.
“The law is clear they ought to notify the police on time so that we work together and give them protection so that they can champion their cause; we have no evidence that they wrote to us over their planned procession,” Kayima said.
Kayima noted further that in their engagement with the party leaders including the Mao, they have agreed on how best the party can go on with their activities without causing any chaos and breaching the law.