- Police usually camouflage under the Public Order Management Act to block certain political rallies or public debates
- The Organisers say they had informed the police and the candidates intending to run for the Nebbi Municipality elections
- The police says the debate was illegal and was a security threat since it attracted huge number of people
By Okaba Patrick
Nebbi- The police in Nebbi town today morning blocked a public political debate intended to bring all the political candidates contesting for Member of Parliament and mayoral seat in Nebbi municipal council for a discussion.
The public debate scheduled to take place at mayor’s garden was aimed at allowing public interact with their intending candidates in Nebbi municipal on issues affecting service delivery in the community.
But according to OC station, Regina Nansamba, they halted the debate basing on public management order bill and the organizers failed to inform the police about the debate.
“The public debate was okay, but there was no official information given to police by the organizer and due to security of the people, we have to stop it. There was need to call it off basing on the instruction from above,” Nansamba said.
She said the debate attracted many people outside the municipal which was a sign of insecurity in town.
Nestore Onoba Onenchan the NRM chairman Nebbi municipal says, the debate was okay but the mistake the organizers did there was no official communications to allow the debate go through.
“It was a good initiative to bring the intended candidates for public debate but the procedures were messed up,” Onoba said.
One of the candidates in the NRM primaries Mr Hashim Sulaiman says, he was not invited officially but only heard about the debate over the radio.
“Communication must have been delivered officially to my office but nothing was received as an official document linking me to the debate,” Hashim said.
According to the organizer, Vicky Onyai, the information on public debate were given to all the security offices and all intended candidates were served with the letter inviting them for public debate.
“There is poor leadership in Nebbi to manage resources, that’s why we organized the public debate. But it is unfortunate that the police acted in camouflage of the law to stop the debate,” Onyai said.
Nam Eddy the program officer NGO Forum Nebbi criticized the action taken by police to illegal by stopping the public debate because people wanted to see their leaders. He said the stopping of the debate must have been engineered by some political figure who wants to be treated like God in this coming political race.