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Denial of enjoyment of freedom of assembly amidst response to COVID-19

Kampala - Former Vice-President Gilbert Bukenya and his supporters were teargassed in Masuliita, Wakiso District, on July 2nd 2020 as police stopped a gathering on allegations that it was contravening presidential directives on containing the Coronavirus.

According news outlets, former Vice-President Gilbert Bukenya and his supporters were teargassed in Masuliita, Wakiso District, on July 2nd 2020. Police stopped a gathering on allegations that it was contravening presidential directives on containing Coronavirus.

Prof. Bukenya was launching his bid to stand for Busiro North MP in the 2021 General Election. He was arrested and investigated on the offence of carrying out acts likely to spread infectious diseases. Mr Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, said they were investigating him for violating the statutory rules of the Ministry of Health on holding public gatherings.

Section 171 of the Penal Code Act states: “Any person who unlawfully or negligently does any act which is and which he or she knows or has reason to believe to be likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

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It is alleged that Prof Bukenya invited a group of 600 people at his home at Kakiri, but the police were able to get intelligence before and deployed heavily.

This happened at the time when gatherings of more than 10 people are not allowed by the Ministry of Health Directives on social distancing to aver the spread of COVID 19.

Onyango said Bukenya then shifted his rally to Masulita but again the police got information about the gathering. Police went to Masulita and discharged teargas to disperse the crowd.

Prof. Bukenya was the vice president for over 10 years before he was dropped in 2011. He lost the parliamentary seat in 2016.

Source: https://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Police-block-Bukenya-political-rallyWakiso-Masuliita/688334-5587194-92gbl4/index.html

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