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Uganda: Mabirizi challenges Museveni’s decree to release idle and disorderly suspects

City lawyer Male Mabirizi has petitioned court seeking an injunction to nullify the President Yoweri Museveni’s orders through the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to release all suspects who were facing charges of being Idle and disorderly.

Mr Mabirizi in his petition filed on Tuesday before the High Court in Kampala says that the President and IGP have no powers to stop the police force from enforcing the laws of Uganda.

The respondent in this case is the Attorney General.

In a police circular dated October 1, 2019 the IGP, Martins Okoth-Ochola, instructed police officers to fully comply with the President’s directive to stop arresting people on basis of being idle and disorderly, the president also directed that all those already arrested for the crime be released immediately.

“The President has further directed that all the people arrested by the KCCA enforcement personnel in Kampala and are in prison for failure to pay a fine of shs.1 million be released immediately but warned not to repeat the offence of selling merchandise on the pavements.

By copy hereof, the Executive Director of Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) is also asked to comply with the directive of H.E. the President of the Republic of Uganda,” the circular reads in part.

However, Mabirizi, whose views are in contrast with those of the President argued that the directive was ‘illegal, unreasonable, irrational and issued in a procedure which was improper’.

“It is fair, equitable and in the interest of protecting the rule of law in Uganda that this application be allowed for declarations, orders of mandamus, prohibition and permanent injunction,” he said.

Mr Mabirizi is also seeking a permanent injunction restraining any Uganda government official or agency from implementing the directives of the President and the IGP prohibiting the arrest of persons suspected to have committed an offence of idle and disorderly.

His also seeking for general damages for inconveniences caused and costs of the application.

The petition came shortly after the directive of the IGP to all police units stopping the arrests of people on the offence of being idle and disorderly and also release those already in detention.

In a letter issued on Tuesday, Mr Ochola said he was implementing the directive from President Museveni in his September 30 letter, directing police and the Attorney General to immediately release all suspects detained on charges of idle and disorderly and further directed that the prosecution withdraws all such cases pending in courts.

By Daily Monitor 

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