Political parties to meet IGP over new POMA regulations

Political parties under the Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) are set to meet the Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola to discuss implementation of new Public Order Management Act (POMA) regulations.

The meeting will be held on Sunday at Prime Minister’s office. It will be chaired by Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda.

The new regulations unveiled last week by Rugunda were proposed by secretary generals of political parties and the Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana.

The regulations are meant to iron out controversial issues in implementation of the act.

Opposition parties have for a long time accused security agencies of implementing the law upside down and using it to curtail their movements and meetings.

The new regulations clarify the power of Inspector General Police, the meaning of public meetings, procedures for filing notice with the police and what should police include in its reply to police and timelines for meetings of political parties, among other issues.

For instance, the regulations have decentralized power of receiving notifications of political parties from Inspector General of Police as prescribed in POMA section 3 to any officer at or above rank of Inspector.

The regulations also stipulate that an authorized officer has no right to authorize or reject the meeting of political parties. He or she is supposed to only receive notifications from political parties and respond in 48hrs.

IPOD brings together political parties represented in parliament. Current IPOD members are; Democratic Party (NRM), National Resistance Movement (NRM), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) and Justice Forum (JEEMA).

The meeting comes ahead of second IPOD summit slated for next week in Lira District. The summit is a meeting of political parties’ leaders. The first summit was held in December last year at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

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