KAMPALA – A proposal by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) to have the Police call in support of other security organs like the army during the election process has been rejected by lawmakers on the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee (PAC) who said the army has no business in electioneering.
The NRM team led by the Party’s Secretary-General, Kasule Lumumba made the proposal while appearing before the Committee to submit their views on the electoral reforms tabled by Attorney General, William Byaruhanga in July 2019.
Kasule told the Committee that although the Party had concurred with all proposals in the Political Party Amendment Bill 2019, they proposed to have Uganda Police assisted by other sister organizations in times it is called for when quelling chaos within political parties.
The Ruling Party’s Secretary-General said, “The rationale for this addition is that there may be circumstances where the Uganda Police Force may require backup from other sister security institutions and that under these circumstances unless the law prescribes for the situation where backups may be required, there is danger that any such intervention may be declared illegal.”
Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri County) asked the NRM to explain under which legal provision the Police would seek help of other security organs noting, “You are saying that sister security have been regarded as undue interference now you want us to provide for them such that whether it is army, militia involved in elections, we to have the roles of the Police merged.”
Oscar Kihika, Director Legal Services in NRM replied saying “Currently in practical terms the police has been found wanting in terms of manpower, the intervention of other security is seen as undue to the electoral process. We think it is wise in circumstances to make provision.”
Medard Lubega (Busiro East) asked NRM to clarify if NRM isn’t satisfied with services rendered by the Police during the election process adding,
“The relationship between the political party and police is a civil relationship, why do you want to bring in the army? Where police feels they need assistance and this has nothing to do with civil activity, why do you want us to move in army whose mandate isn’t civil in character? ”he asked.