KAMPALA – The Electoral Commission (EC) has urged Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine to reach a common ground with police on how to hold his presidency consultative meetings.
EC chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama said that in their view, Bobi Wine’s meetings are legal under the Presidential Elections Act but that the presidential hopeful should agree with police on how the gatherings will be held in line with the Public Order Management Act.
“To us, Bobi Wine and his team must reach a consensus with police. They should sit on table and interprete the law on gatherings. Both teams have lawyers,” he told journalists.
The EC gave its position on Thursday, January 09, 2020, while meeting People Power Movement leaders, including Bobi Wine, Bugiri Municipality MP Asumani Basalirwa and their lawyer Benjamin Katana. Senior police officers were also in attendance.
The meeting came after police blocked three of Bobi Wine’s scheduled meetings in Gayaza, Lira and Gulu.
The People Power team told EC officials that had instructed them to meet not more than 100 people, a thing People Power rejected, saying someone who is aspiring to become President of 44 million people should not be restricted on the number of people they should consult.
While speaking at a press conference after the meeting with EC, Bobi Wine said that they are going back to the drawing board to reschedule their meetings and “guarantees they will go on.”
People Power spokesman Joel Ssenyonyi said: “Today we met the Electoral Commission, plus senior police officers. We pointed out our concerns including; DPCs who refuse to acknowledge receipt of our letters, Police and RDCs who intimidate venue owners who grant us access to their premises, unreasonable demands like fire trucks and sniffer dogs, police violence against journalists and other ordinary people, etc.”
“Police acknowledged the wrongs, and pledged to do better going forward including inviting us to have discussions with them where need arises. We shall be re-drawing our consultations schedule. We hope Police will operate within the law as they have pledged,” he added.
Police Deputy spokesperson Polly Namaye admitted that mistakes were made in blocking Bobi Wine’s meetings but promised a more harmonized position with People Power next time.