Don’t beat opposition- Otafiire tells new IGP

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Don’t beat opposition- Otafiire tells new IGP
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The Internal Affairs Minister, Gen Kahinda Otafiire has warned the new Inspector General of Police against frustrating political rights, especially for the opposition.

“You are law enforcement officers. Those who force us to follow the law can’t be law breakers. You might not like the law but enforce it as it is. If the law is inadequate advise us and we shall go to parliament and amend it. Don’t go about beating Kyagulanyi. Him or Besigye and those in opposition, don’t beat them for their opposite ideas. Contain them for behaving unprofessional and conduct unfit for public convenience,” Otafiire said.

“These political parties are legitimate and are in the constitution. We didn’t like this business of multipartyism but Ugandans went into referendum and said they like it and it is in the constitution. Whether I like it or not, I have to respect it because that is the law.”

The Internal Affairs Minister was on Tuesday speaking as the new Inspector General of Police, Abbas Byakagaba took office at Police headquarters in Naguru.

Byakagaba who previously served as the director for counter terrorism was earlier this month appointed by President Museveni as the new IGP.

Police has for many years been accused of pegging the rights of opposition politicians, many of whom are always arrested and their rallies and meetings dispersed.

Speaking on Tuesday, Minister Otafiire said police shouldn’t tame political rights for the opposition, under the pretext of policing.

“As police officers, don’t deal with opposition but deal with bad conduct. Tell Kyagulanyi, Besigye or Bwanika that if they want to do their meetings, they shouldn’t do them on the streets or markets. Tell them(opposition) that if they want to make noise, they should go to Kololo and when they are tired, they should go home,” he said.

“If he(Kyagulanyi) is going to Jinja, take him to some playground with his people. They jump up and down and insult those of us who are in politics and when they finish, they go home without inconveniencing anybody. Let them exercise their rights while respecting the rights of others.”

Otafiire also tasked the new police chief to work on the welfare of police officers but to also be closer to people.

In his acceptance speech, the new IGP, Abbas Byakagaba promised to deliver on the expectations of the appointing authority and citizens at large.

 

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