Today at 2pm the Parliament of Uganda will sit for the final reading of the Public Order Management Bill (POMB), which has been widely criticised as a major blow to human rights by curtailing free political debate.
SMUG posted to highlight some of the key clauses:
- The POMB makes public discussions on the state of the country illegal and any space these discussions are held a crime scene.
- If you are in a Christian home cell and you make a comment on potholes, corruption, KCCA, failed leadership, etc you commit a crime.
- If you are having a wedding meeting and anyone attending even suggests that you should increase the price of items because of inflation, you can be arrested for convening the wedding meeting, making the statement, and the owner of the premises or private residence where these discussions are held will also be held liable.
The ongoing case of SMUG versus Simon Lokodo was brought on the grounds that Ugandans have free right to assembly. It would appear that instead of saying 'yes, Lokodo, you acted unlawfully,' Uganda would rather vote to remove that particular right for everybody.
There are already strong predictions that Uganda is headed for violent instability in the near future. This bill would certainly help to grease that slippery slope.
There are calls online for Ugandans to contact their MPs to voice their dissent against the bill.
Please ensure that this is not the last time you have a collective say on issues affecting the nation of Uganda. Please send an SMS to the Deputy Speaker of Parliament of Uganda Hon. Jacob Oulanya on +256 776 913 911 asking him to throw this bill out and refuse to preside over its final reading today in service to our dear Nation.
You can find a copy of the draft bill online.