Women Members of Parliament from the opposition dressed in mourning black colours this week stormed the office of the speaker to demand that she calls for disciplining of police officers who violently arrested some of them recently.
This comes after the police violently dispersed rallies that were organized by female MPs in different parts of the country on grounds that the had not been permitted by the police.
The female MPs told Speaker Anita Annet Among that the police teargassed, beat, arrested and blocked them from holding activities to celebrate women’s day in their respective constituencies of Mityana, Soroti, Hoima, Kasese, Buvuma among others.
In their petition to the Speaker of Parliament Annet Among, the grief-stricken MPs led by the shadow Minister for Information and National Guidance Joy Bagala Ntwatwa called for prosecution of police officers as individuals who abused their dignity while arresting them during separate women’s day celebrations.
Although the Police authority recently came out and said it had instituted disciplinary proceedings against the officers who beat up Suzan Nakaziba Mugabi, the Buvuma Woman Member of Parliament, her colleagues told Speaker Among that it is not enough to send the errant officers to the police Standards units since they are only going to be transferred from one post to another.
Bagala, who is also the Mityana District Woman MP said that the male police officers touched the women inappropriately while arresting them in addition to frustrating their constitutional mandate as Women members of Parliament.
In their petition, the group demands for an explanation from the Ministers in charge of Internal Affairs, Presidency and that of Gender, on why Police and Resident District Commissioners continuously violate their rights and the constitution.
Following the Buvuma arrest a number of people and organisations including the Uganda Law Society, Minister Rebecca Kadaga, have come out to condemn the police brutality.
However Speaker Among has remained quiet about the incident. With the threat of arrest hanging over her head on the Babaati scandal, it is unlikely she will raise her voice against the police.