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Heavy Deployment at Police Headquarters as IGP Ochola Cancels Meeting with Stella Nyanzi, Other Women Activists

Kidnaps: IGP Ochola Says He's Too Busy to Meet Stella Nyanzi, Other Women Activists

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Uganda police’s Anti-Terrorism and Anti-Riot squads have Tuesday morning been deployed at the force’s headquarters in Naguru, Kampala as the Women’s Protest Working Group (WPG) insisted on meeting IGP Martins Okoth Ochola over the spate of women kidnaps and killings.

The women activists, including academic Stella Nyanzi, recently wrote to police informing them of their Tuesday morning march to Naguru where they had asked to meet IGP Ochola.

But Monday evening, deputy police publicist Patrick Onyango issued a statement cancelling the group’s meeting with Ochola.

“True, we received a letter from the Women’s Working Group, requesting to meet the Inspector General of Police, to deliver their petition,” wrote Onyango in an online statement.

Onyango said “the Inspector General of Police is unable to meet the Group due to his busy schedule and requests the organisers to reschedule it to another date”.

The police publicist also admitted the force had “not replied their letter but we were in the process of do so”.

He accused the women of revising their schedule.

“Their letter was talking of meeting the IGP on Thursday morning but we are now surprised when they say tomorrow which is Tuesday,” complained Onyango. 

“The IGP is willing to meet the group on a date and time to be determined but NOT tomorrow. We therefore, implore the organisers to follow the guidelines as laid out in the Public Order Management Act.”

But activist Nyanzi responded to Onyango: “The police is trying to apportion blame for their sloppiness, inefficiency, tardiness, and bad time-management onto the author of the notice of petition, whom they claim wrote a wrong date!”

Stella Nyanzi outside police headquarters in Kampala. Photo by Canary Mugume
Stella Nyanzi outside police headquarters in Kampala. Photo by Canary Mugume

She also wondered: “But if they were really interested in receiving us, why reveal the error in dates – if indeed there is any – late on the eve of the day of petition?”

The women have thus continued with their march to deliver their petition.

By publication time, it was unclear if they would be allowed in.

Police talked to the activists after the group had been asked to put aside the coffins they were carrying.

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