Government has filed a notice of appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the court’s decision to scrap police’s powers to stop public gatherings under the Public Order Management Act.
According to the appeal dated April, 8, 2020, government says it was not satisfied with the court’s decision and is going to challenge it.
“Take notice that the Attorney General being dissatisfied with the judgement/orders of Justice Cheborion Barishaki, Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire, Lady Justice Elizabeth Musoke and Justice Kenneth Kakuru dated March,26, 2020, intends to appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgment,” reads the document.
Consequently, the Solicitor General has written to the Court of Appeal registrar requesting for a copy of the court proceedings to be used in their appeal.
“The Attorney General’s Chamber has notified us of their desire to appeal against the Constitutional Court judgment. We respect their position as it’s their right to do so. The Public Management Act(POMA) has wide ranging implications on civil liberties in Uganda and we will robustly defend the Constitution Court ruling. It is in the public interest to do so,” said Onyango Owor from Onyango and Co Advocates who led the petitioners’ team.
Constitutional Court last month annulled section 8 of the Public Order Management Act (POMA) when it ruled that police have no powers to stop or disperse public gatherings in a majority decision of 4:1.
In the ruling, the judges argued that there is no evidence to prove that public gatherings sabotage economic growth by disrupting businesses as had been argued by government.
They argued that government has in the past used demonstrations or public gatherings to publicize its own programs.
“Nonetheless, none of those public gatherings resulted into violence nor did they disrupt businesses, commerce or public order beyond what is demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society,” Justice Kenneth Kakuru argued.
“The point is that in a democratic society, one cannot choose and pick. It is a whole package and everything goes together. Any attempt to remove one component destroys the other.”