THE NEO-DEMOCRACY IN UGANDA
MASSACRES AND DICTATORSHIP
THE NEO-DEMOCRACY IN UGANDA
PAPER BY A MILTON OBOTE
DELIVERED AT WIDER CONSULTATION ON UGANDA (WiCU) CONFERENCE
12 SEPTEMBER 1998
UGANDA PEOPLES CONGRESS
(Office of the President)
The people of Uganda have, since 1986 - now over 12 years - experienced wars, massacres, devastations, despoliations and inhuman oppressions predictated by the suppressions of the inalienable human rights and freedoms of the individual.
A system of oppressive rule was Proclaimed by an army in January 1986. The system has been codified and cynically claimed to have been decriminalized by the Constitution promulgated in 1995. The system provides for one-Party cum military rule and therefore suppresses the enjoyment and exercise by the citizen of his/her inalienable human rights and freedoms.
Members of The Wider Consultation on Uganda (WiCU), who are the conveners of this Conference cannot be unaware that the entrenchment of that system of rule which suppresses the human rights an freedoms of the citizen and the imposition of which is through massacres, is, in fact, being financed, facilitated and praised by the older democracies.
Throughout Africa, Museveni is the only President whose rule is heavily subsidized annually and highly praised by the older democracies when that rule suppresses the human rights and freedoms of the citizen; when Museveni's army, according to his own admissions, has been engaged in massacres for over twelve years; and when corruption has been made a leading practice in governance.
The very heavy annual subsidies and the praises by the older democracies have embolded Museveni to export, by force of arms, the suppressions of human rights and freedoms, carnage and corruption to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
After the export to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1996/97 which followed the export to Rwanda in 1990 and the conquest of Rwanda in 1994, a new and very sinister terminology was coined by the older democracies to glorify this new system of govenance. The exporter, Museveni and his satellites Paul Kagame and Laurent Kabila were exalted as the NEW BREED of African leaders.
To qualify to be a member of the New Breed, an African President must ascend to the seat of governance through the gun, much bloodshed, carnage and devastations after which he may or may not conduct a fraudulent one-Party elections to purportedly decriminalize the ascendancy.
With wars in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region, the policy of the older democracies to heavily finance, facilitate and praise dictatorships, though now clearly in disarray, is still being strenuously promoted through a stratagem, for more carnage but to be presented and implemented as a scheme for cease-fire followed by talks and elections when, in fact, it is designed to make Museveni to be the suzerain of Congo.
Talks or negotiations have been, since 1985, Museveni's tactics to dupe his adversary.
It was Talks which Museveni used against the Okello and Okello Junta while raising a new army. It was Talks which Museveni's army which invaded Rwanda in 1990 used to gain strength and to conquer Rwanda in 1994 after the assassination of President Habyalimana. It was Talks which was used to destroy the UPDM/UPDA. It was Talks which was used by an alliance controlled by Museveni and which ousted the Mobutu dictatorship. After every Talk, since 1985, Museveni came out on top and no peace ensued.
President Nelson Mandela will live to greatly regret the role to be the mid-wife to the spread of carnage and dictatorship in the Great Lakes Region.
In Uganda, the Mecca of the New Breed of dictators, there is no end in offing to the very severe bodily and mental pains the people have been suffering since 1986 and to the continuing suppressions of human rights, massacres, devastations and the herding of people in makeshift camps where they are meted inhuman and degrading treatments by soldiers.
Even now, September 1998, after twelve years of much bloodshed, carnage, devastations, despoliations and loss or suppressions of the fundamental, God given, human rights and freedoms of the citizen, the goal of the holocaust which began in January 1986 has not dawned on a large number of opinion leaders in Uganda.
There are intellectuals, professionals and even prelates who are either collaborators or are indifferent to the holocaust. Their chorus is: THE PEACE WE ARE ENJOYING. The heartless chorus seeks to conceal the continuous slaughter of the people and the rendering of vast areas of the country desolate. The chorus is sung in a situation where the very people who are doing so together with all other citizens of Uganda are not enjoying their individual human rights and freedoms.
The third group besides the above, is the politicians whose position of their Parties on what has engulfed Uganda is not clear. Some of the politicians are and have been in the group of the collaborators where they have been and are being used to give credence and credibility to the system of rule which is being implanted through massacres, the suppressions of human rights and freedoms and through rampant corruption, bribery and surbonation which have become tenets of governance.
All African countries face very serious challenges in the tasks of Nation building and in the growth of the political culture which accepts that all the citizens and every citizen should be free to participate in framing the destiny of the country in accordance with his or her conscience.
Nation building appears to be accepted by all, even by dictators, as a desirable goal. The issue is how to go about it. The legacy of the struggle for Independence and the legacy of Independence in Uganda and all over Africa cry out again and again that every citizen must, upon conscience, be free to have voice in the governance of the country and therefore in shaping the destiny of the country.
The Independence struggle was, first a rebellion against a particular system of governance where the people, everyone of them, had no voice in the affairs of the country.
Second, the Independence struggle and Independence were a most sublime Oath that after Independence, every citizen shall, upon conscience, be free to receive and impart ideas from every source and be free to form or join any association or a political Party for the advancement and protection of his or her interests.
The freedom to form or join any association or political Party, upon conscience, leaves the decision to remain in or resign from the association or political Party or even a trade Union or a Cooperative Society or Union to be taken by the citizen himself or herself.
To impose it that every citizen must participate in politics and elections only through one Party or what is now, euphemistically, called the Movement, is to impose again the system of rule which the legacy of the Independence struggle and the Oath of Independence both rejected. Uganda ceases to be fully Independent unless all her citizens enjoy and exercise, inhindered, civil and political liberties.
The freedom of the citizen to form or belong to a political Party to be the vehicle for the advancement of his or her ideas in the governance of the country is a legacy of the Independence struggle and of Independence which make any other form of governance which prohibits competition of ideas in the public arena by the Parties of the citizens, a bastard. That bastard is unknown and is a stranger to the legacy of the Independence struggle and is a negation of the Oath of Independence that no citizen, except by own consent, be hindered in the enjoyment and exercise of his/her, God given, inalienable human rights and freedoms.
Not only in Uganda but also elsewhere in Africa, whenever the bastard, the stranger who is a negation of the Independence Oath criminally seizes and overthrows the government, politicians, Party leaders in particular, have been found wanting.
Military rule and one-Party rule are both negations of the Independence struggle and the Oath of Independence. Faced with military rule, politicians invariably abandon their commitment to the development of the political culture which accepts the voice of every citizen in the governance of the country. The politicians become ministers or ambassadors or accept some other jobs in military dictatorship which suppress the voice of the citizen in the governance of countries.
After the annulment by the military of the 1993 Nigerian elections, for instance, which was widely believed by the Nigerians to have been won by the late Mashood Abiola, his running mate who would have become the Vice-President of Nigeria in a multiparty rule, abandoned his political Party and commitment to the legacies of the Independence struggle and the Oath of Independence. He willingly chose to be a minister in a military dictatorship. Uganda has an abundance of such politicians.
Twice, after military coups in 1971 and in 1985, leading Uganda politicians and intellectuals took the coups as if the coups were free and fair multiparty elections which they had won overwhelmingly. Even after Idi Amin had banned all the political Parties and published their names, leading politicians continued to praise him and to serve him in various capacities.
In January 1986 when a gang of gunmen siezed power with their pronounced mission to implant one-Party cum military dictatorship, and imposed severe restrictions on the activities of the political Parties, a large number of leading politicians and intellectuals readily accepted service in the dictatorship. Some prelates became ambassadors-at-large and toured various Capitals in Europe and North America in praise of the dictatorship.
It is an obvious argument that no political Party and therefore no group of politicians in a Third World Country can subdue an army which its commanders decide to stage a coup. What is most reprehensible is for a political Party or its leaders or members to suborn the military to stage a coup or to desert the people in exchange for office as minister etc etc and thereby to give credibility to the removal of the voice of the citizen from the governance of the country.
When the voice of the citizen is removed from the politics and governance of the country, the political Parties become redundant and totally irrelevant precisely because without the enjoyment and exercise by the citizens of their civil and political liberties, military or Movement rule returns the country to pre-Independence system of governance where the citizens are mere hewers of wood and drawers of water with no voice in the affairs of their country.
In Uganda, under the rule of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and its army, the National Resisstance Army (NRA), the conscience and voice of the citizens have been removed from politics and from elections. Every citizen is, without choice based on conscience, required to participate in politics and elections only under the aegis of the Movement which is the political Party of the National Resistance Army which siezed power in January 1986.
Even Ugandans who are opposed, upon conscience, to the basic policy of the NRM/NRA namely, one-Party cum military rule, have been lynched by and roped in a system of governance which has been discredited and rejected the world over.
Both legs of the system which Museveni has been, since 1981, endeavouring to implant through massacres namely, one-Party rule and military rule are not new and both have been discredited, rejected and condemned everywhere since the break-up of the Soviet Union.
When the one-Party rule was in vogue in Africa in the 1960's, I faced, from a different angle the challenge of the one-Party rule system. On the last day in December 1969 of the Annual Delegates Conference (ADC) of the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) when I was at Entebbe airport seeing off visiting heads of State; a motion was moved from the floor and was passed for Uganda to be a one-Party State.
The motion was moved and passed despite or in contradiction to provisions in the Constitution of the UPC. The Conference contravened provisions in the Party's Constitution which provide that the Party be organized to enable every citizen "to participate in the framing of the destiny of our country" and in a situation where the Party and its members are free to protect the human rights and freedoms of every citizen.
The protection or respect by the UPC of the human rights and freedoms of everyone lawfully living in Uganda is specifically provided in Article 4(6) of the Constitution of the Party. It reads as follows:-
The Aims and Objectives of the UPC are:-
"4(6) To protect without discrimination based on race, colour, sex or religion every" person lawfully living in Uganda and enable him to enjoy the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say:-
(i) Life, Liberty, Security of person and Protection of the law;
(ii) Freedom of conscience, of expression and of association;
(iii) Protection of Privacy of his home, property and from deprivation of property without compensation."
In addition to contravening the UPC Constitution, the motion passed at the ADC of the UPC in 1969 for Uganda to be a one-Party State, also directly called for the amendment of the 1967 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. It is not generally known that the expression "political Party" was not in the 1962 Independence Constitution of Uganda or that it was only the 1967 Constitution enacted by the National Assembly sitting as a Constituent Assembly which tied the political Parties to elections to the National Assembly, and to the election of the President.
The entire provisions of Article 26 of the 1967 Constitution, for the first time, recognized the political Parties not only in the body politic of Uganda but also their right to participate and compete in elections of the President and of members of the National Assembly. The 1969 resolution by the supreme organ of the UPC was therefore a direction to the then UPC government to amend the Constitution of Uganda.
When closing the 1969 Conference of the UPC, I strongly condemned and rejected the resolution that Uganda be a one-Party State. Dr Naphlim A Adoko arranged for the condemnation and rejection to be put on gramphone records, the sales of which were interrupted by the military coup of January 1971.
Having condemned and rejected the resolution, I also decided not to implement it and the Constitution was not amended. It was Amin not the UPC government, who in March 1971 banned all the political Parties and listed each of them by name. The detractors of the UPC, however, propagate falsely that it was the UPC government which banned the Parties apparently without even amending the Constitution or publishing the ban in a legal instrument.
Had the UPC government banned the Parties, Amin's Decree 14 of 1971, written by some of the best legal brains in Uganda, would have contained only one name, the UPC, precisely because all the other Parties would not have been in existence by the time of the coup.
Secondly, after the 1980 elections and under another UPC government, the Bill which repealed Amin's Decree mentioned no previous banning of the political Parties. No one, even today, can produce any law enacted or any legal instrument issued by the UPC government which banned all political Parties except the UPC. Further, no one has produced and can produce reason why the other Parties meekly accepted the illegality and did not go to Court when during the the 1960s the UPC government was taken to Court several times on other Constitutional matters.
Two matters arise from the fate of the 1969 UPC resolution. The first is that the culture of Constitutional governance in which the individual citizen has unhindered voice and the political Parties formed by the citizens are also free to participate, unhindered, in politics and elections, can only be cultivated and defended, in the first place, by the leaders of the Parties. Where a leader of a Party absconds from that position of trust to the legacies of the Independence struggle and the Oath of Independence either because of pressures from Party members or in exchange for office in a military or one-Party dictatorship, the people are left rudderless and the dictatorship grows and grows in strength.
The second matter which arises is that because our politicians, intellectuals and prelates, in a large measure, abandoned commitment to the legacies of the Independence struggle and the Oath of Independence that no citizen, except by his own consent, be hindered in the enjoyment and exercise of his/her, God given, inalienable human rights and freedoms, those politicians, intellectuals and prelates have, for the third time in Uganda's short history as an Independent State, deserted the people to enable oppression to gain credibility abroad and to grow with their collaboration. They did it under Amin; they did it under Okello and Okello and they have done and are doing it under Museveni.
Even now, after over twelve years of a system of rule which has caused the massacres of millions of our fellow citizens and has suppressed the Parties of the the citizens and therefore the voice of the citizen in the governance of the country, there are politicians in all the Parties who are working assiduously to give and to be seen as giving credence and credibility to a President under whom there has been the massacres of millions and the suppressions of human rights and freedoms of the citizen.
Each Party has members or former members who are doing so while some who are doing so also dissemble that they are the only ones working against the dictatorship.
A brief examination of the position of each of the political Parties, shows that the removal of the corrupt dictatorship of massacres has not been and is not their number one agenda. It also shows that a compact by them against the dictatorship is also not on their agenda.
The Conservative Party (CP) leader has been a minister in the dictatorship of massacres since 1986. When he failed, in the fraudulent one-Party elections of 1996 to the National Assembly to get elected, the dictatorship promptly made him a nominated member of Parliament. He is secure. He is earning a huge salary and has status which enables him to go to any bank to obtain loans. Members of his Party and the majority of the people of Uganda have only oppression and impoverishment.
In the Democratic Party (DP), the freedom of conscience appears to have been carried to absurdity and is running riot. Apparently because the Party embraced the dictatorship in 1986 unconditionally, a large number of leading members joined the dictatorship not only in the administration but also in the Secretariat of the Party of the dictatorship. When the top leaders withdrew from the dictatorship, they left behind (with the dictatorship) not only persons who were once national but also regional leaders of the DP.
Those members of the DP who remained stuck with the dictatorship have become minnows whose number one job is to help the dictatorship to remove their erstwhile Party and the other Parties from Uganda's body politic. It is the same job which members of the DP who served in the Secretariat of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) did to the UPC. At the NRM Secretariat, the production of political tracts was left to members of the DP and each tract was designed to run-down the UPC and its leader on false and outlandish charges. A kindred spirit was oblivious that to destroy its kin, it will be next to be destroyed by the predator.
After the fraudulent Presidential election of May 1996, both the DP and the UPC issued definitive Policy Statements which also condemned and rejected the model of elections adopted and imposed by the dictatorship.
However, in 1997, the Secretary General of the DP accepted appointment to serve as a member of the Electoral Commission. He therefore, perhaps upon conscience, decided to give credence to an organ of the dictatorship whose job is to conduct fraudulent elections upon a model which his Party has
condemned and rejected. Unlike his counter-part in the UPC, he resigned his post before taking the appointment and has therefore taken only himself and not the prestige and title of the office of the Secretary General of the DP to give credence to an organ of dictatorship.
From time to time since the late 1980s, there have been invidious expressions for the removal of the DP leader, Paul Ssemogerere, and virtually no expression for the removal of Museveni. Instead of working, in any capacity, to remove the dictatorship followed by Conference to elect leaders, efforts are being wasted to truncate not only the DP but also all other Parties.
Between February 1981 when Museveni launched a war to implant dictatorship and 1989 when the first fraudulent elections were held, the UPC was, of all the Parties, the least tainted with the brush of dictatorship. The exception was during the six months rule of the Okello Junta when all the Parties, through their leaders, abandoned the legacies of the Independence struggle and the Oath of Independence.
Since 1989, some members of the UPC have increasingly sought to give credence and credibility to the dictatorship. The definitive Policy Statement which the UPC issued in May 1996 which also condemned and rejected the model of elections imposed by the dictatorship was a repeat of the Policy Statement issued in 1989 on the same subject.
The electoral law and the Constitution imposed by the dictatorship prohibit and debar the political Parties except the Party of the dictatorship from contesting public elections. To compete with the candidates of the Party of the dictatorship, all other persons must stand as individuals. The challenge to the political Parties is how best to persuade their respective members not to give credence to fraud and to do so in a situation where the dictatorship uses bribery or lucrative businesses such as supplying provisions to the army.
In the UPC, the implementation of the terms of the definitive policy statement of May 1996 was tackled in two ways. The first was to respect the freedom of conscience of every member and the second was to protect the image of the Party. Consequently, the Party President directed that any official of the Party who, upon conscience, wanted to contest the fraudulent personal merit elections, had to resign his or her post so that in the event of being elected, only the person and not also the prestige and title of an office of the UPC would be in the organ or organs of dictatorship.
The expression "official" in the context of the UPC Constitution include members respectively of the Branch Executives, Constituency Executives, District Executives, Central Executive Committee, National Council. Also included in the expression "official" are the President, Vice-President, Secretary General, Treasurer, National Chairman, Assistant Secretary General, Assistant Treasurer, Vice-National Chairman and headquarters staff.
Many of the holders of the Constitutional posts were, in fact, not included nor affected by the directive of the Party President. The reasons were varied. First, because of the harassments and the persecutions of leaders who were in the Executives at Branch, Constituency and District levels coupled with the edict of the dictatorship that the said Executives be not active, the UPC since 1986 regarded the Executives as dormant due to force majeure. For that reason, the members of the three groups of Executives were not considered, in 1996, as active UPC "officials."
Second, because of the poaching by the dictatorship from the Central Executive Committee and the National Council coupled with the edict of the dictatorship which forbade both organs from having contact with the Party Branches and the general public, the UPC regarded the Central Executive and the National Council as having been frozen and made dormant by force majeure. No meeting of either of the organs has been convened since 1985 and the members of both were not considered, in 1996, as active UPC "officials".
Third, the Party President and the Secretary General were out of the country and the Treasurer had joined the NRM, while the Vice-President had died and the office of the Vice-National Chairman was vacant. That left, amongst holders of the Constitutional offices only the National Chairman, the Assistant Secretary General and the Assistant Treasurer as persons who were affected or to be affected by the directive of the Party President.
Fourth, the directive also did not directly affect the staff at Headquarters because the Regulations governing the terms and conditions of their service already provided that anyone desirous to contest any public election has to resign his/her post.
The directive of the UPC President that any official who, upon conscience, wanted to contest the personal merit elections which the Party had condemned and rejected had to resign his/her post, affected essentially only the eleven members of the Presidential Policy Commission (PPC) and the PPC Secretary. All the members of the PPC had been appointed by the Party President. The three holders of the Constitutional offices namely, the National Chairman, the Assistant Secretary General and the Assistant Treasurer were also members of the PPC. Each of them also held the Constitutional office on appointment by the Party President.
The PPC as such is not known to the UPC Constitution. It is an improvisation organ established in early 1991 under Article 4(10) of the Party Constitution to circumvent the force majeure now codified under Article 269 of the 1995 Uganda Constitution.
The problems which faced the UPC after the establishment of the dictatorship were many and paralysing. Party members, throughout the country, were being persecuted and killed. The Vice-President was incacerated in Luzira Prison. The dictatorship was suborning, bribing and cajoling members of the Central Executive Committee and the National Council. The severe restrictions on Party activities, the force majeure, had made the Branches of the Party paraplegic. No other Party, perhaps because their leaders were ministers, was being vigorously suppressed and persecuted by the dictatorship as was the UPC.
In the circumstances, the UPC President instituted wide and very deep consultations on how best to keep the Party alive though shackled by the force majeure. The consensus was that the Party circumvent the force majeure through improvisation structures instituted under Article 4(10) of its Constitution.
Article 4(10) of the UPC Constitution provides under the Aims and Objectives of the Party as follows:-
"To do such other things that are necessary for the achievement of the Aims, Objectives and Aspirations of the Party."
As already stated, one of the Aims, Objectives and Aspirations of the UPC is to respect, promote and defend the inalienable human rights and freedoms of every citizen. The main task of the PPC was and is still to wage struggle and campaign for the restoration of a system of governance in which the voice of the citizen is not bottled in one Party and to perform that task collectively and without any member of the PPC being also a member of any of the organs of dictatorship.
After the enactment of the 1995 Constitution, the dictatorship and agents of the older democracies mounted very aggressive campaigns to get the UPC leaders and members of the PPC to accept participation by the UPC in the fraudulent personal merit elections. The insult in the campaign was not seen by some members of the PPC or if they saw it, they were already apostates to the mission of the PPC as stated immediately above. The insult was that the UPC, like all the other Parties, which is debarred and prohibited by Article 269 of the Constitution from contesting public elections should agree to participate in what it was already debarred and prohibited.
The multipartists handled the danger to human rights inherent in the personal merit elections with much wishful thinking and without a fall-back strategy. They formed the Inter Political Forces Co-operation (IPFC) which was a most commendable deed. On the belief, which was apparently realistic, that the mood of the country was to vote the dictatorship out, the IPFC was made to be the vehicle for the multipartists to win the personal merit elections of 1996. It was a very serious misdirection of the struggle.
All components, except the UPC, of the IPFC were eager to contest the elections. The UPC component was divided. The division was on giving credence to the personal merit elections with or without a fall-back position; the latter in case the multipartists failed to win the elections.
Because of that division, the US Embassy got intimately involved in persuading the DP and the UPC with promises that the Embassy would get Museveni to relax some of the restrictions on the Parties so that the elections would be more competitive though still basically personal merit elections against the candidates of the Party of the ruling army. The interest of the Embassy was clearly for the two major Parties to bless and give credence to the fraudulent elections.
The UPC President seized the involvement by the US Embassy and invited the Chairman of the PPC to travel to Lusaka. After two days of very serious and lengthy discussions with the Chairman, the UPC President wrote a Paper for presentation to the IPFC to consider and if approved with or without amendments to be submitted to the Embassy. The bottom line of the Paper was that the IPFC would not bless nor give credence to the personal merit elections unless specific provisions (which were listed) were made in the electoral law. The Chairman did not submit the Paper to the IPFC. The Embassy also obtained no relaxation on the restrictions.
During the Presidential election campaign, candidate Paul Ssemogerere was received and welcomed enthusiastically in the majority of the Districts by hundreds of thousands of people. The reception so much worried Museveni that four days before the elections in a T.V. and radio broadcast, he vowed that if defeated, he was not going to hand over his army to Ssemogerere.
The Electoral Commission saved him from the humiliation and compounded the election as a fraud. The Commission credited Ssemogerere's millions of votes to Museveni.
The IPFC, the DP and the UPC each issued Policy Statements which condemned and rejected the electoral model which disenfranchised the voter by crediting his/her vote to a candidate not of his/her choice. The Chairman of the PPC, after signing the UPC Statement, denounced it and held that the UPC must accept and give credence to the model and that the UPC must be represented in the organs of the dictatorship by the PPC Chairman. This was, in reality and fact, not an opinion based on conscience. The positions was based on the protection of the lucrative business of supplying provisions to the army of the dictatorship which, in Uganda under the dictatorship, full payments are made whether or not the supplies are delivered or delivered only in part.
Members of the UPC at home and abroad and other Ugandans have been duped and are being duped that the former Chairman of the PPC, who had to be removed from the post, is working against the dictatorship. Nothing can be further from the truth. The former PPC Chairman is a valued agent and asset of the dictatorship.
The ambivalent position of the leaders of each of the Parties, CP, DP and the UPC to the dictatorship has, very much like as at the beginning of the Amin reign of terror and murders, been siezed by the older democracies who, for reasons of their interests, have adopted the policy that there is a home grown democracy in Uganda worthy of their support, praises and huge annual subventions for its facilitation and entrenchment.
There is no home grown democracy in Uganda and the facts speak for themselves. What exists in Uganda and has been in existence since 26 January, 1986 is the DICTATORSHIP OF MASSACRES which, to the older democracies, is Neo-democracy where their leader of the New Breed of African leaders has made it a crime for the citizen to enjoy and exercise his/her God given inalienable human rights and freedoms and the citizen's conscience and Party removed from politics and elections.
Every government in the older democracies has, in recent years, given the impression of being very much concerned about the wars in Uganda, particularly in the war in the North of the country. They claim to be urging Museveni to negotiate peace with the leaders of the rebel armies.
It is the ingredients of that concern and the goal of that negotiation which leaders of Uganda's political Parties, Uganda's intellectuals and Uganda's human rights activists must examine. Any examination of the concern and the goal of the negotiation will show that they are a ploy for the entrenchment of the Museveni dictatorship.
The system of governance has been and is the cause of the wars. It is impossible for the effect, the wars, to stop while the cause, the system, continues. That has been the sad fact of the situation since 1987 when several rebel armies negotiated peace or were crushed only for new ones to emerge to wage wars against the system.
No government in the older democracies accepts the system as a dictatorship. That refusal is highly contrived to enable the dictatorship to supress, through massacres, all opposition so as to be the only voice of governance in Uganda and then to expand into countries near and far.
When countries such as Zambia and Kenya were each ruled by a single Party, the governments in the older democracies worked, most commendably, for the conscience and voice of every citizen in those countries to be released from the confinement of one-Party politics and elections. To show their abhorrence to the confinement of the conscience and voice of the citizen in one-Party system of governance, they distanced themselves from the system by suspending their aid to Zambia and Kenya pending the repeal of provisions for one-Party rule in the respective Constitutions of Zambia and
In the case of Uganda, on the other hand, the governments in the older democracies have been working and are assiduously facilitating and heavily financing the entrenchment of one-Party cum military dictatorship.
Although the governments in the older democracies claim, to quote a British minister, that the Labour government "does take human rights issues very seriously in all countries", the reality of the situation is that they fully agree with Museveni that the conscience and voice of each and every citizen of Uganda must be bottled and confined in one Party now called the Movement so that there is no opposition to any policy of the Movement and no one must participate in politics and elections except under the aegis of the Movement.
To conceal their collaboration with Museveni in the suppression of the God given inalienable human rights of every citizen of Uganda, to decriminalize the blood of his victims in Museveni's hands and to make Uganda to be the base from where to export dictatorship and carnage to countries near and far, the governments in the older democracies have constructed and empanelled an array of subterfuges and stratagems.
The bottom line of the subterfuges and stratagems is that what obtains in Uganda is a home-grown democracy, that no Ugandan must rebel and raise an army against the system and that should they do so, they must lay down their arms and allow their conscience and voice in the governance of Uganda to be reposed in Museveni because Museveni is the leader of the New Breed of African leaders to whom the bullet and not the ballot is the most legitimate means and system of governance.
In July 1997, the Labour Foreign and Commonwelath Secretary pronounced that Labour's overseas policy would be based on "ethical and human rights dimensions". He went on to promise, and I quote his actual words, that "If every country is a member of the international community, then it is reasonable to require every government to abide by the rules of membership.
They are set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." - end of quote.
In the implementation of its "ethical and human rights dimensions" policy and the rule of membership of the international community, the Labour government has not only exempted the Museveni dictatorship but has also, like the Conservative government before it, adopted the policy to malign Uganda's political Parties, distort their respective internal democracy and suppress the record of Uganda's very good economic performance under multiparty Parliament.
Governments, irrespective of Parties in office, in two of the older democracies namely, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, have been and are at the forefront in running-down Uganda's political Parties and their leaders. To the governments in the two countries, Uganda's political parties and their leaders were not the victims but the perpetators of Amin's terror, murders and destruction of the economy and were also the ones who launched the Luwero war in 1981.
The wars, massacres of millions of people, extensive devastations and despoliations have all occurred, since 1986, when the political Parties have not been on the political scene and cannot therefore carry any responsibility for them. Museveni and his army and system of governance are, however, exonerated by governments in the older democracies from each and everyone of the abominations. The meaning of the exoneration, whether intended or not, is that the massacres of the people of Uganda and the suppression of their human rights are acceptable to governments in the older democracies as means to entrench one-Party cum military rule under Museveni. The victims, the political Parties, must therefore together with their leaders be maligned in order to project the criminal who, because he is a criminal, is an acceptable New Breed of African leader.
Although Museveni and his army ruled Uganda for over twelve years from 1986 without holding, even once, a Conference of their Party, the Movement, to elect leaders of the Party or to debate and adopt policies for the governance of Uganda, this total absence of internal democracy in the Movement and its application to the governance of Uganda was fully acceptable to governments in the older democracies.
When at last the Movement purported to hold a Conference in July 1998, the delegates were drawn from the Army, Police, Prisons Service, and the entire membership of Parliament and the District Councils. The composition of the Conference in that manner was a clear exposition that dictatorship where every public institution and Deparment has become an organ of one Party exists in Uganda.
After a week in Kampala, the delegates whose upkeep was paid by the taxpayers which is another evidence of the existence of dictatorship, dispersed without issuing any Statement on public policy discussed and adopted. It is said that the Conference was a virtual Church Service where
Museveni was the sole Preacher.
The governance of Uganda under the Movement where the citizen is prohibited from debating public policy from outside the aegis of the Movement Party and is a mere onlooker within the Movement is still being vigorously supported, praised and financed by governments in the older democracies on their false and malicious subterfuges and stratagems that Uganda's political Parties are internally undemocratic and have caused wars, massacres and never developed the economy. The absence of internal democracy in the Movement and the absence of competition with the Museveni Party are totally ignored, condoned and praised by those governments to make them collaborators in the removal of the conscience and voice of the citizen from the governance of Uganda.
On internal democracy within Uganda's political Parties, I can speak with authority on the UPC. In view of the propaganda against the Parties, I consider it important that the position in at least one of the Parties be stated for comparison with the situation in the Movement Party.
The Constitution of the UPC provides for every member of its supreme organ, except the incumbent President, to be elected and the organ to meet annually. In practice however, the organ, due to its duties which are to adopt the broad basic policy of the Party, elect or remove the Party President and to receive and consider reports from the Party President, did not meet annually. Consideration of reports from the Party President which necessitated annual meeting in the past, was delegated by resolution in the 1969 Conference to the National Council.
The same resolution stipulated that the Supreme Organ has to meet whenever there is a serious situation affecting the Party or country and that it is to be elected afresh whenever there is a general election for the election of members of Parliament and President of Uganda. This resolution added two duties to the organ namely, to adopt the Party's Manifesto and elect the Party's Presidential candidate in any general election. The Supreme Organ of the UPC is called the Annual Delegates Conference.
The second highest organ of the UPC which is the Parliament of the Party is called the National Council. It is composed of members elected by the District conferences and Constituency conferences of the Party and the Party President who is elected by the Supreme Organ. Each Parliamentary Constituency conference elects one member and each District conference elects two members. Before 1969, it was the District Executives and the Constituency Executives which elected members of the National Council. Also in 1969, the Supreme Organ resolved that every member of Parliament who is not a member is to be a member of the National Council.
The third national organ of the UPC which is the government of the Party is the Central Executive Committee (CEC). Members of the CEC are elected by the District Conferences with each Conference electing two members. In addition, the "inner Cabinet" appointed by the Party President consisting of the Vice-President, Secretary General, National Chairman, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary General, Vice-National Chairman and Assistant Treasurer are also members of the CEC. All members of the CEC are members of the National Council. The proposal for the members of the Inner Cabinet to be directly elected and not appointed, cannot be carried out because of the force majeure in Article 269 of Museveni's 1995 Constitution.
The duties and functions of the National Council and the Central Executive Committee require them to engage with party members and the general public at the grass roots through to the Parliamentary Constituencies and District levels. At the grassroots, the UPC organ is the Branch. It is the heart of the UPC. Without the Branches, the Party is as good as dead or non-existent.
Besides members, the UPC Branch has two organs, the Conference and the Executive. The Branch Conference is composed of all the members of the Party within an area and meets annually or whenever it is deemed necessary.
The Branch Executive is composed of 15 members including Women and Youth representatives. 10 members of the Branch Executive are elected by the Branch Conference and 5 are appointed by the Chairman elected by the Conference.
The next structure is at the Parliamentary Constituency level. Here, the UPC has two organs, the Constituency Conference and the Constituency Executive. The Constituency Conference is composed of 15 delegates from each Branch in the Constituency elected at the Branch Conference, and the delegation must include Women and Youth representatives. The Constituency Executive of 15 members which must include Women and Youth representatives is made up of ten members elected by the Conference and five members appointed by the Chairman elected by the Conference.
At the District level, the UPC also has two organs namely, the District Conference and the District Executive. The District Conference is composed of 15 delegates including Women and Youth representatives elected by each Constituency Conference in the District. In 1969, the Supreme Organ authorised the National Council to determine for a District with only one Parliamentary Constituency, as was the case with Sebei, a greater number than 15 delegates at the District Conference. The District Executive of 15 including Women and Youth representivies is composed of 10 members elected by the District Conference and 5 members appointed by the Chairman elected by the Conference.
Article 269 of the 1995 Constitution of the dictatorship of massacres prohibits the political Parties from:-
"(d) sponsoring or offering a platform to or in anyway campaigning for or against a candidate for any public elections; and
(e) carrying on any activities that may interfere with the Movement political system for the time being in force."
Despite the provisions of the Constitution, governments in the older democracies supported, financed and facilitated the 1996 Presidential and Parliamentary elections which they gave the accolade of having been free and fair. The propaganda now is that the political Parties and the UPC in particular have representatives in the Parliament elected in 1996. Those who listen to the BBC's African Service, for instance, tell me that the broadcasts often carry that propaganda. Because the propaganda is saturating, some Ugandans and even members of the UPC have come to believe that there is a caucus of opposition members in Museveni's Parliament and that the UPC is represented in the caucus. Nothing can be further from the truth.
First, in addition to the provisions of Article 269, the Movement Act of 1997 specifically provides that whoever is elected to Parliament or lower Council not on the Movement ticket becomes automatically conscripted into the Movement. The conscription which is automatic conforms with the provision of Article 269(d) where competition with and opposition to the Movement is prohibited. There are therefore no opposition members in Museveni's Parliament.
Second, under the UPC Elections Regulations, UPC candidates for election to Parliament must be adopted by the respective Constituency Conferences and must stand on the Party Manifesto approved by the Annual Delegates Conference. Candidates for lower Councils, on the other hand, must be adopted by the appropriate Constituency conference and must stand on the Manifesto approved by the appropriate District Conference.
Because of the force majeure in Article 269 of the Constitution of the dictatorship of massacres, neither the Annual Delegates Conference nor the Parliamentary Constituency conferences met in 1996 and respectively approved the UPC Manifesto and adopted the UPC candidates for the 1996 Parliamentary elections. It follows quite clearly therefore that the Uganda Peoples Congress is, as an entity not represented in the Parliament of the dictatorship.
The objective of claiming, falsely, that the UPC and the other Parties, and of suborning some Ugandans to assert that the UPC and the other Parties are in the one-Party Parliament, is most sinister. It is to lay the ground so that when time comes to remove from Uganda's body politic all the Parties except the Movement Party, it would then be claimed and argued that the law for the removal was democratically enacted by a Parliament in which all the Parties were represented.
The cruelest irony in the Uganda situation is that the political Parties which the dictatorship has shackled and is determined to remove, altogether, from Uganda's body politic with the support and approval of governments in the older democracies, have been responsible for the lack of support which rebel armies have received from the people. No one should hold any doubt that when Uganda becomes a dejure as opposed to the present de facto one-Party State, millions of the members of the political Parties will either join the existing rebel armies or raise new ones.
Uganda's political Parties, considering the legacy of British rule inherited at Independence, have performed very well and deserve much credit. Uganda is the only country in Africa where the colonialists made the people to fight religious wars and duped the people to call themselves "Baingereza" and "Bafaransa" in support of the colonialism of either the British or the French. It has been the task of the political Parties to erase from the minds of the people the idea that there are, in terms of politics and governance, Baingereza and Bafaransa in Uganda.
The legacy of the British Indirect Rule while pretending to respect and preserve traditional system of governance, was actually used to create, implant and entrench antagonism and enemity. Before the founding of the Uganda National Congress (UNC) in 1952 and the Democratic Party (DP) in 1954, Uganda Protectorate was a single country only to the British.
Today, because the Parties treated Uganda as one compact tabula rasa and proceeded to propagate their respective policies on that basis, even the most rabid advocate of federalism accepts that the country is one and that its people have a common destiny.
One person one vote, for instance, which the Parties demanded as a prelude to Independence, was not acceptable to some of the Kingdoms. Today, no part of Uganda is against one person one vote. The only opposition to it is from the dictatorship which has imposed that the vote be not cast upon conscience to chose from alternative policies but under the banner of one-Party where no alternative policies are presented to the voter to choose which one is closest to his/her ideas for the governance of the country.
Before Independence, each Kingdom asserted most strongly that Independence was acceptable only if its King was to be Uganda's head of State. By 1963 when the National Assembly met to elect the first indigenous head of State, the political Parties had removed the obstructive and divisive conditionality.
The commitment of the political Parties to Constitutional governance, in particular respect for the Constitution, was shown in the resolution of a bitter dispute, the legacy of colonial rule, between two Kingdoms known as the Lost Counties. It was a specific provision in the Constitution that a referendum be held two years after Independence to resolve the dispute.
In writing and presenting the referendum Bill to the National Assembly, the UPC took the implementation of the provision of the Constitution as more important than its losing the support of the Kabaka Yekka (KY), the junior partner in the coalition government. The DP also, in supporting the Bill, took the implementation of the provisions of the Constitution as more important than teaming with the leaders of the KY in opposition to the implementation. The nationalists in the KY also supported the Bill and the referendum. That dispute is today dead having been resolved by the political Parties.
Other boundary disputes such as the location of Mbale Municipality between Bukedi and Bugisu Districts which generated a war, were resolved, constitutionally, by the political Parties.
In providing resources for development and guarding against corruption, Uganda's political Parties have been the watch dog for fair distribution of the resources and the most ubiquitous and effective police against corruption. When, for instance, the government decided to build 20 new hospitals (2 were later added), five were cited in each of the four Regions. Amin and Museveni both appointed Commissions to investigate corruption by the former President and former ministers.
Neither Amin nor Museveni published Reports of the Commissions.
Constitutional governance embodying the conscience and voice of the citizen is the rule of law and not of individuals and their sychophants.
The Constitutional crisis of 1966 was caused by sychophants and politicians to whom the rule of law was not in their best interests. Both seized on the result of the referendum to influence the President who was also a King to adopt a position against the Constitution.
In the book, "The Desecration of My Kingdom", written by Uganda's first President, there is a most chilling and perturbing admission of a crime against the people and the Constitution of Uganda. The President admitted to quote: "There was a plot" and added "but we did not plot together". The said plot or plots in which the President was a party was to overthrow the government and the Constitution by means not provided in the Constitution.
The plotters actually achieved their objective on 4 February 1966 when they sealed off Parliament Building with troops but could not agree on who, amongst them, was to be the Prime Minister. To save the Constitution, the situation demanded the immediate removal from office of the President and that was all which the 1966 Constitution did. The 1966 Constitution did not violate either any provision in Chapter III concerning the Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms of the individual citizen or Federal arrangements in the 1962 Constitution.
The 1966 threat to Constitutional governance embodying conscience and voice of the citizen was overcome. The enemies of the system resorted to military coup in 1971 and 1985 and on both occassions politicians, intellectuals and prelates deserted the people. The repeat of the same divorce in 1986, has now made Uganda's political Parties, their leaders and the conscience and voice of the citizen in the governance of Uganda to be, to the governments in the older democracies, targets of opprobrium.
From March 1986 to May 1996, a total of ten years, Baroness Lynda Chalker as the British minister of Overseas Development, used to visit Uganda every year. Not even once during those visits was she gracious enough to hold discussions with a delegation of any of the political Parties. Her only contacts with Uganda's political Parties were at receptions where the British High Commissioner introduced the leaders of the Parties.
There are letters, copies of some of which I have seen which Baroness Chalker wrote to MPs in which she claimed again and again that British aid to Uganda was dependant on Museveni opening the country to multiparty politics and elections. However, she strongly supported the debarring of the political Parties from contesting the 1994 elections to the Constituent Assembly.
In 1989 when on a visit to Uganda, Baroness Chalker went to Teso, Kumi District where Uganda Television showed her in Museveni's company observing artillery bombardment and devastation of a village. On return to Kampala, Baroness Chalker announced increased British aid to Uganda.
Baroness Chalker supported Article 269 in the 1995 Constitution which made Uganda a de facto one-Party dictatorship and strongly acclaimed the 1996 one-Party Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
In December 1995, Baroness Chalker wrote to a Labour MP to assert and I quote: "The Ugandan people must be allowed the opportunity in 1999 to choose freely on whether to adopt a full multi-party system as the next stage of democratic reform, or to stick with the present Constitutional arrangement." In other words, the British Conservative government, contrary to what it did in Zambia and Kenya, was happy to continue to finance and entrench the provisions of Article 269 of the Constitution which make Uganda a de facto one-Party dictatorship.
Baroness Chalker was dissembling, that is, concealing a very grave matter, when she made it appear that the choice in 1999 is between "a full multiparty system" and the present de facto one-Party dictatorship.
When read together, Articles 269 and 271 of the Constitution show clearly that a chicanery referendum is to be held in 1999 or the year 2000, after the Museveni dictatorship has been the sole voice in politics for 14 or 15 years, to make Uganda a de jure one-Party cum military dictatorship so as to bottle and imprison the conscience of every citizen in the Movement Party.
To say, as Baroness Chalker did, that the people of Uganda must decide in a referendum between one-Party dictatorship and full multiparty system amounts to whoever makes the assertion holding that the people of Uganda are sub-humans who do not have the God given inalienable human rights and freedoms which they acquired at birth but must vote to determine whether they know they have and want to enjoy and exercise their birth rights and freedoms.
I once wrote to Baroness Chalker. Because to her I am a demon who is utterly opposed to Museveni, her bosson friend, she could not condescend to respond to the matters I raised, much less even acknowledge my letter under her signature. Instead she instructed an official in the Lusaka British
High Commission to send me an acknowledgement and also to insult me by asking me to return to Uganda to help Museveni to build, which please read destroy, the country.
Any hope by any human rights activist, Ugandan or otherwise that the Labour Party had or has a policy different from that of Baroness Chalker, is a dream which the sooner the holder of which discards, the better would be for continuing the struggle by some other means.
Since taking office, Labour ministers have adopted two very offensive positions regarding dictatorship, massacres and the suppressions of human rights in Uganda. First, to write to Labour ministers, is to invite lectures and praises on how Museveni has developed Uganda which, even if they are true and they are certainly not true, they do not, in any way, justify or make massacres and the suppressions of human rights acceptable.
After you have demolished the praises, as Ugandans I know did, the ministers stop all correspondence.
Second, Labour ministers, unlike Baroness Chalker who used to dissemble that the continuance of British aid was dependant on some move towards multiparty rule, have accepted the one-Party cum military dictatorship lock, stock and barrel. Clearly on account of that position, the two Labour ministers who visited Uganda in 1997, emulated Baroness Chalker and did not include a meeting with the political Parties in their schedules.
The first Labour minister to visit Uganda at the end of June last year, made very startling statements at a press conference. Two of them may be cited.
The minister said that on the issue of dictatorship and multiparty rule or dictatorship and the suppressions of the inalienable human rights of the citizen, the Labour government supported no side in Uganda. That was stated when, at the precise time, the same Labour government was against dictatorships in Nigeria and Sierra Leone and was on the side of the enjoyment and exercise of human rights by the citizens of Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
As if to emphasise that Labour wants dictatorship and the suppressions of human rights to continue and to be entrenched, the minister said that the obnoxious referendum in Article 271 of the Constitution should be held in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. The operative provisions of the Constitution are in Article 269 which have removed the political Parties from Uganda's body politic.
Labour's latest position on the inhumane referendum which I have from a member of the Cabinet is most disheartening and is the exact opposite of their "ethical and human rights dimensions" policy. The latest position is that Labour supports the profanity that the level and nature of the enjoyment and exercise of the God given human rights of the individual be determined not by the individual but by the votes of strangers, other unknown persons, in a referendum.
In a letter to me dated 4 August, this year, a member of Labour's Cabinet, gave the Uganda dictatorship a complete exemption from Labour's "ethical and human rights dimensions" policy and from requiring the dictatorship to abide by the rules of membership of the international community as set out in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights Charter. The exemption was couched as follows:-
"The Constitution is a matter for the Uganda people. So too is the outcome of the referendum in 2000. However, we believe we have a legitimate interest in ensuring that the Ugandan people have the opportunity to express their view in a free and fair referendum, with a level playing field for advocates of both the multiparty and the movement systems."
The letter then goes to confirm the position stated in a Kampala press conference by a Labour minister in June 1997 and then to contradict it with a sentence that Labour quote will continue to press for full implementation of the Constitutional provisions for the current restrictions on Party activity to be lifted a year in advance of the referendum unquote.
In the letter just quoted, it is stated quite firmly that the Labour government does not quote share the view that Uganda is subject to a military dictatorship unquote. That was also the position which the second Labour minister who visited Uganda in October, last year, gave at a press conference. That minister, in fact, stated publicly that Uganda had the best government with which Labour can work.
It is not only the Labour government but also all the governments in the older democracies do not accept that Uganda presently is a dictatorship.
They do not accept the well-known and published fact that the dictatorship was proclaimed on 26 January 1986 by a private army. They hold, rather perfidiously, that although the political Parties are under very severe restrictions and although the Movement Party is the sole voice in Uganda's body politic, the country is still a democracy. They are therefore resolved to continue to finance the entrenchment of the provisions in the Constitution which make Uganda a one-Party dictatorship and then to turn round and claim that the very Constitution they are entrenching is a matter for the people of Uganda.
The governments in the older democracies are also resolved to finance and facilitate the profanity which provides for the level and nature of the enjoyment and exercise of the God given human rights of the individual not to be determined by the individual but by the votes of unknown persons and then to leave the outcome and the consequences to the people of Uganda. In this inhuman and profane resolve, the older democracies want the restrictions on the political Parties to be lifted not as a feature of governance but for the purposes of the chicanery referendum which the dictatorship because of 14 or 15 years head-start is bound to win.
When therefore President Bill Clinton said in South Africa last March that quote from Cape Town to Kampala and from Dakar to Dar es salaam democracy is on the march in Africa unquote, it was not a slip of the tongue that he included Kampala which he had honoured by visiting. The older democracies now appear to believe that their interests in Africa can only be met and served by African Presidents who are their NYAMPALAs and by a system of governance where political Parties controlled by citizens do not exist.
African countries such as Kenya and Zambia which are endeavouring to develop the multiparty politics and multiparty elections are in for real distabilisation. Aid to them is frequently suspended by the older democracies for perceived violations of human rights. Both Uganda and Rwanda where the right to life as well as civil and political liberties have been removed from governance are praised and given huge annual cash subsidies by the same older democracies.
In 1997, the US Secretary of State, Mrs Madeline Albright, visited Africa.
Everywhere she went, there was no report of her meeting leaders of opposition Parties. In Uganda, the Secretary of State met the Sudanese who are waging war against Khartoum but had no time and interest to meet the leaders of Uganda's political Parties.
The de facto leader of the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) Dr James Rwanyarare twice and another Ugandan I know wrote to the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Dr Susan Rice never even acknowledged the letters nor caused her officials to do so. To criticize Museveni and his system of governance has become to malign the US and the UK governments.
In some cases, criticizing Museveni and his system has become a serious matter of life and death. In July, the UPC members in Canada held a Convention in Toronto to which I sent a Message. On 7 August, the UPC Toronto Bureau wrote a letter to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The letter argued that the policy of the older democracies in Uganda is making some politicians in Countries such as Kenya and Zambia to sway from multiparty politics and elections and to work, instead, for Uganda's dictatorship system to obtain in their countries.
The talk in Kampala now is that my Message to the Toronto Convention and the Bureau's letter have made the British government to propose to Museveni ways to deal with and to silence me.
In the letter of 4 August, the cabinet minister wrote that after making representations over restrictions on the activities of political Parties, the Labour ministers now quote "see the underlying trend as one of increased participation, transparency and accountablity in Government."
In other words, to the Labour government and to Museveni, participation from within a bottle known as the Movement Party is now transparency and accountability but to compete with the Movement is not permitted and to debate the affairs of Uganda from outside the Movement Party is to invite measures which could send one six feet deep in the ground.
The transparency and accountability which the Labour ministers now see, are infact, veneers on the face of an aggressive one-Party dictatorship.
There cannot be real transparency and real accountability when participation in politics is only under the banner of one-Party and participation in elections does not permit the presentation to the voter of different policies articulated by different organizations.
The veneers on the face of the dictatorship can be seen easily from the utterances from within the Movement Party about corruption. The situation has been that the more utterances, the more corruption. The reason for this is in the policy on corruption enunciated by Museveni in July 1989. The policy has two legs. The first is that Museveni declared that for him to stamp out corruption quote would cause problems - unquote.
The second leg according to Museveni quote there are more important things to do other than battle with corruption unquote. He described the important things as developing the economy and bringing peace to the country. The utterances are a ploy to get the older democracies to accept that there is free debate in the system when, in fact, the system does not permit the contents of the debate to be put to the electorate as grounds for voting the Movement Party out of governance. After the referendum, it is most probable that the present ploy will go with the political Parties.
The policy enunciated by Museveni had a solid foundation. For instance, in 1987 - only after a year of the dictatorship, there occured a massive robbery of public funds. Under the currency conversion scheme, a levy of 30 percent of the money then in circulation was imposed as Development Tax.
Although the money was collected, it never appeared in any Budget. It went into a Private bank account.
What ministers in the Labour government see as transparency and accountability do not include utterances from within the Movement Party which avoid the theft of huge sums of public funds and which go to the same private bank account as the massive robbery of 1987. Since the Constitution excludes the possibility of the Movement Party being removed from governing the country by the ballot, it is hard to see to whom that Party or its regime is accountable.
The enormous resources of the British and of the other governments in the older democracies, are now being used to mislead their Parliaments and other governments, particularly in Africa, that although the Constitution provides otherwise, there is, nevertheless, "increased participation, transparency and accountability in Government." This viewpoint, spells continued dictatorship in Uganda and also spells export of dictatorship to countries near and far both with the support and approval of the older democracies.
This is not the first time the enomous resources of the older democacies have been used to mislead Parliaments and governments elsewhere. For some years now, the same resources have been used to present the impoverishment of the people of Uganda through the destruction of farms and homes and the plunder of millions of livestock - all by Museveni's soldiers - as acquisition of wealth in an economy whose annual rate of growth was unsurpassed anywhere in Africa. The presentation was a subterfuge to conceal widespread devastations and despoliations by soldiers.
Some Ugandan who have access to the IMF and World Bank publications have given it that Uganda was, in 1985, number 26 of the poorest States and that Uganda is, today after over twelve years of dictatorship, number 14 of the poorest States.
Considering the very huge annual subventions to the dictatorship by the older democracies, Uganda should, perhaps, by now be among the richest and not number 14 of the poorest countries. The impoverishment of the people of Uganda is deliberate on the premises that it is easier to rule the poor than the well-to-do.
Despite the very huge subventions and despite the population having tripled since the 1960s, not a single Secondary School and not a single hospital has been built, equipped and staffed by the dictatorship in over twelve years. The Secondary Schools and hospitals built in the 1960s or before are now all in dilapidated states.
The older democracies, for their own interests, want the people of Uganda to join them in accepting and praising:-
* governance through massacres;
* governance through suppressions of freedoms of conscience, expression, association and assembly;
* governance through rampant corruption;
* governance through impoverishment and through the scourges of disease and ignorance;
* governance through over burdening the people with the repayment of huge loans and subventions the deployment and usage of which the people have no voice and
* governance through paying for the export of the holocaust which has befallen the people of Uganda.
The one person, like Hitler, who is responsible for the holocaust is Yoweri Museveni. He speaks the truth only by accident and has a well developed sense to dissemble in the service of his predilection to shed blood so as to be a modern Tsar or Hitler.
Between 1981 and 1984 there was a war in Southern Uganda which was fought and defeated in only one Administrative area, District, and its environs inhabited by some 600,000 people. That war was launched by Museveni when the entire country was at peace. Museveni had a private army which he raised in 1979/80 when he was the minister of Defence in a weak and fractious Administration.
From January 1986 to date under President Museveni, wars and their concomitants have reached the homes of more than eight million people. From what President Museveni himself caused to be published in June 1989 namely, that his army had carried out operations to destroy the entire foodstuff in vast areas then inhabited by over five million people, the estimate by Ugandan's political Parties that over four million people have died as the direct result of the wars and their related outcome, cannot and should not be easily discounted.
In his June 1989 Statement, President Museveni disclosed that as the direct result of military operations to destroy food which included the plunder of millions of livestock and the destruction of homes, schools, health clinics and economic infrastructures allegedly because all such items were giving succour to rebels, 2.7 (two point seven) million people, according to President Museveni, had lost everything including homes and clothing and had become destitutes who were living in makeshift camps. In the disclosure, the President said nothing about half the inhabitants of the areas of the military operations who have not been seen to date.
What President Museveni disclosed and it was not the first nor the last time he did so, was the execution by his army of official policy in which some three million people lost their lives.
Since there is no food in Uganda or anywhere else in the world which can give succour to rebels only and not to the people as a whole, the official policy to starve over five million people to death and the execution of which resulted in the deaths of three million people, qualifies as genocide.
It is that offficial policy expressed in such manner and in the absence of the voice of the political Parties in the politics of Uganda which have given rise to the culture of rebel armies, indiscriminate carnage, devastations and despoliations. Every time, since 1987 after one rebel army has laid down its arms or has been crushed, another emerged.
The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) currently being asked by various Parties to negotiate Peace, were not even in existence in 1989 when President Museveni disclosed that the homes of over 5 (five) million people had been rendered desolate by military operations, 2.7 million people had been uprooted from their homes by the military and a similar number had disappeared never to be seen again.
There are well reported cases where massacres by the ruling army, such as herding victims in railway wagons and setting the wagons alight or burying victims alive in holes, covering the holes with earth and raising bonfire over the graves, were given as no more than evidence of the invincibilities of the ruling army.
Because the voice of the political Parties had been removed from politics and contesting elections in the Proclamation by Museveni's army which established the dictatorship, the people reacted against the official policy of massacres, devastations and despoliations by raising armies to defend life and property under local leadership. Since the only voice in the country was and is still that of the dictatorship, the press, domestic and foreign and the human rights organizations, all without first hand information of what was happening in vast rural areas in Eastern and Northern Uganda, repeated in their reports and publications the line of the authorities which heaped all the atrocities onto the rebel armies.
Heaping all the atrocities onto the rebel armies, past and present, by anyone in a democratic country, does not take account of the published aim of Museveni's political Party and Army to establish dictatorship "by force of arms" and is therefore not realistic on two basic grounds.
First, the rebels who have fought mainly in their home areas and also committed atrocities therein, could not and cannot be responsible for massacres given and proudly admitted as such in official bulletins as evidence of the invincibility of the ruling army or be responsible for large scale massacres of their kith and kin or the destruction of the homes of their kith and kin or the plunder of the entire livestock of their kith and kin. The existence of the rebel armies has given the ruling army a cover to heap onto the rebels, its large scale massacres, destruction and devastations of the homes of millions of people and plunder of property in the continuing objective to implant dictatorship.
Second, it is an undisputed fact that Museveni's army has fought wars in Southern, Eastern and is fighting in Northern and Western Uganda, and also fought wars in Rwanda and Zaire. The nature of the atrocities particularly massacres committed in each theatre, despite the adversaries having been disperate, has been the same. Also the same, has been the objective of Museveni's army in each theatre: to implant dictatorship by force of arms and the tactic to heap all the atrocities onto every adversary.
The clearest evidence that President Museveni is determined to entrench the dictatorship Proclaimed and established in 1986 by his personal army with or without the support of the older democracies - more so the former - is in two enactments and in a proposed law. The enactments are the Constitution Promulgated in October 1995 and the Movement Act 1997. The proposed law is the chicanery plot to remove the existing political Parties from Uganda's body politic.
The Uganda Constitution contains two diametraically opposed systems of governance namely democracy and one-Party cum military dictatorship. It is the latter, dictatorship, which is being enforced while the former, democracy, is being suppressed as if it is not part of the Constitution.
Any person who reads only Chapter One, the Supremacy of the Constitution and Chapter Four, the Protection and Promotion of the Fundamental Human Rights, would hold and would not be wrong to hold that the Constitution contains the basic ingredients for democratic governance.
On reading Chapter Nineteen of the same Constitution and the Movement Act 1997, the same person is confronted with provisions which dramatically contradict the provisions in Chapters One and Four, which make the provisions in Chapters One and Four mere platitudes and which provide for dictatorship where the inalienable human rights and freedoms of the individual are suppresed and all adults in Uganda are made, in violation of the freedom of conscience, to participate in politics and elections only under the aegis of one political Party, known as the Movement.
The 1996 Presidential and Parliamentary elections were held under the provisions of chapter Nineteen and therefore all the political Parties except the Movement were debarred and prohibited from contesting the elections. The electoral model devised from the provisions of Chapter Nineteen disenfranchises the entire electorate in that the model prohibits presentation of policies by different groups, the political Parties, to the electorate so that they can and may make informed choices.
The dictatorship in Chapter Nineteen is headed: TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS but are, in fact, the continuance, extensions and entrenchment of the one-Party cum military rule established by an army in 1986. The provisions in Chapter Nineteen and the Movement Act make every citizen, in violation of the freedom of conscience, member or supporter of the Movement which President Museveni presents at times as a system of governance and at other times, as a political Party. Whether as a system or a Party, all public institutions and offices are now organs and offices of the Movement. The political activities of the Movement and its headquarters and staff therein are financed by the taxpayer.
According to the Provisions in Article 269 in Chapter Nineteen and its offshoot, the Movement Act 1997, competition with and opposition to the Movement is prohibted. Furthermore, the existing political Parties are to remain, as they have been since 1986, excluded and prohibited from managing and keeping alive their organs or electing their leaders at all levels or convening public meetings or even meetings of their own members only to debate public policy or affairs. Under the provisions of Article 269 and the Movement Act, the other political Parties are under a sentence of death.
The word Transitional in the title of Chapter Nineteen portends the removal of political Parties and competitive politics and elections from Uganda's body politic. The provisions in Chapter Nineteen do not provide for transition to democracy but to an entrenched one-Party cum military dictatorship, and the means is provided in Article 271.
Article 271 in Chapter Nineteen provide for strangers - other persons - to determine in a referendum the nature and degree of how the individual shall enjoy and exercise his/her inalienable human rights and freedoms of the individual. This assault on the inalienable human rights and freedoms of the individual, is disguised as a referendum to choose and adopt a system of governance or to choose between the existng one-Party cum military dictatorship and the multiparty competitive politics and elections.
The clear objective of the referendum, to be held after the dictatorship has been the sole voice in Uganda's politics for fifteen years, is for the referendum to confirm and further extend, through chicanery, the system of rule established in 1986. It will be the first referendum at which other persons and not the individual should determine the nature and degree of how the individual should enjoy and exercise his/her inalienable human rights and freedoms and the first time the older democracies, on present posture, will have supported, financed and facilitated such an abomination.
Some older democracies are said to be negotiating with the dictatorship not for the repeal of Articles 269 and 271, but for relaxation of some of the provisions of Article 269 allegedly to enable the political Parties to put to the electorate the case for multiparty competitive politics and elections. If such reports are true, the iniquitous and reprehensible meaning and signal they carry is that the older democracies are not averse and not opposed to the nature and degree of the enjoyment and exercise by the individual of his/her inalienable human rights and freedoms being a votable subject in a referendum cunningly designed for its outcome to result into the suppression of the same rights and freedoms.
From January 1986 to date - over twelve years now - the objective of President Museveni to implant and entrench dictatorship in Uganda and export it to the neighbouring countries has become, except to his apologists, abundantly clear. The outcome of the referendum are bound to be:-
(i) All the provisions in Chapters One and Four regarding the inalienable human rights and freedoms of the individual shall cease to be valid and every citizen shall, contrary to the freedom of conscience whether in the Constitution or not, participate in politics and public elections only under the aegis of the Movement political Party.
(ii) The existing political Parties, if they should or would remain until then, shall except the Movement not be permitted to exist, even nominally as has been the case since 1986 and no new Party shall be allowed to be founded and to exist.
(iii) President Museveni will be encouraged by the support from or the indifference of the older democracies which enabled him to entrench dictatorship and the suppression of the inalienable human rights and freedoms of the individual to vigorously export dictatorship into countries near and not so near.
(iv) In Uganda, the chicanery removal of the political Parties, after years of being restricted and shackled, from Uganda's body politic shall be most galling to their members who shall most probably raise armies for the overthrow of Museveni and his dictatorship.
Ahead of the referendum in the year 2000, President Museveni intends to remove the political Parties, except the Movement, from Uganda's body politic. A law is soon to be enacted purportedly to register the political Parties, not to participate in politics and elections but only to be recognized. The real intent is to make the Parties to fail conditions for registration and therefore declare them illegal.
Conditions for registration include requirement that the national leaders of a political Party all be elected and be resident in the Country when a provision in Article 269 and its antecedent have, since 1986, prohibited the Parties from convening a conference of their apex organs to elect national leaders.
Another condition is the requirement that a Party must show that it has active Branches in 2/3 of the Administrative Areas known as District when a provision in Article 269 and its antecedent prohibit the Parties from managing and keeping active their Branches.
The suppressions of the inalienable human rights and freedoms of the individual and the removal and debarment of the political Parties from participating in politics and elections when the provisions in Chapter III of the then 1967 Constitution and in Chapter Four of the 1995 Constitution provided to the contrary have been questioned in the High Court twice. One of the political Parties, the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) formed in 1952 filed an Application in 1994 and again in 1997 in the High Court for declarations that the suppressions, removal and debarment were unconstitutional and therefore illegal and invalid.
Twice, the High Court has avoided to address the issues. In 1994, the Court ruled that the suppressions, removal and debarment were temporary. In 1997, the Court ruled that it had no power to remove from office a President elected in an election in which opposition political Parties were debarred.
In the older democracies, the Uganda Judiciary is regarded as independent and impartial. On the ground, the Judiciary is, like all other public institutions, an organ of the Movement, the political wing of the ruling army whose declared objective is to establish dictatorship by force of arms.
President Museveni has been waging wars since February, 1981 - over seventeen years now - with the sole objective to rule Uganda as a dictator.
His wars have cost Uganda most dearly in lives, property and good governance.
Unless Articles 269 and 271 of the Constitution and the Movement Act are repealed and the law to get the Parties to fail registration is abandoned, Uganda is bound to experience a degree of bloodshed never known before in the whole of its history.
In the circumstances, what can the people do. The answer is in the letter I received from a member of the British Cabinet namely, that "The Constitution is a matter for the Ugandan people." Since the ballot cannot remove that Constitution, the people of Uganda must find some other means to overthrow it.
A MILTON OBOTE
P O Box 50751