Lawyer Male Mabirizi has taken the government to court to challenge the recent ban imposed by the police on the mobilization tours conducted by the National Unity Platform (NUP) party and its leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine.
In a lawsuit filed in the Mbale High Court, Mabirizi argues that the ban, as stated in a police statement signed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Maj Gen Geoffrey Katsigazi Tumusiime, is illegal. He is requesting the court to issue an order overturning the ban.
Mabirizi states in his case, “The directives issued were illegal, procedurally improper, irrational, and outside the functions of the Uganda Police Force.”
In a statement made on September 13th, Deputy Police Chief Maj Gen Katsigazi expressed concern that Kyagulanyi and his NUP supporters had not followed several guidelines provided by the police.
“While we support the right of individuals, groups, and citizens to peacefully gather and express their views on public policy matters, we have observed numerous violations of the guidelines during NUP’s mobilization activities,” Maj Gen Katsigazi noted.
He also mentioned that Kyagulanyi had used one of the rallies to incite violence, promote sectarianism, call for the removal of an elected government, and make defamatory statements against President Museveni.
“In light of these blatant guideline violations, we are suspending NUP’s activities. This follows our earlier communication to the NUP leadership, halting their planned mobilization activities and office openings until they are willing to comply with the guidelines and the rule of law,” Maj Gen Katsigazi stated.
“We are sending a strong message that Uganda will not wait for its villages, towns, urban centers, and cities to descend into chaos before taking action to protect its citizens and property. We will put an end to the mob mentality, bullying, and intimidation tactics of NUP radicals against innocent civilians and law enforcement officers.”
In his case before the High Court, Lawyer Mabirizi argues that all police actions to halt the NUP mobilization tour were illegal and procedurally improper. He requests the court to issue an order prohibiting the Inspector General of Police or subordinates from further interference with citizens’ political and civic activities.
Mabirizi claims that he is filing the case as someone with a strong interest in good governance, the rule of law, and political freedom in Uganda. He also requests the court to order the payment of general, aggravated, and exemplary damages for the inconveniences caused.