18 May, 2001.
To: Andrew Mwenda
From: A. Milton Obote
You asked me yesterday during "Today Mwenda Live" Radio Talk Show why the UPC was totally silent during the Presidential election 2001. I responded that: -
- First, the Constitution debars the UPC from participating in every public election. As the UPC has been banned from being in every election, it could not also pretend to be a participant.
- Second, there was no election. What was on, was, in fact, a scheme to entrench the NRA dictatorship. The NRA system of governance is a one-Party cum military dictatorship and does not therefore provide for a free and fair elections.
Unfortunately, no caller came up with follow up questions. I hold very strongly that to elect is to choose. In order for the voters to choose, they must, in a free and fair election, be presented with and they must receive and be free to impart different ideas or policies for the governance of the country being proposed by different political groups or Parties.
In Uganda, the NRA system of governance has imposed what even the Almighty God never ordained when He made each human being to be a whole person capable to hold opinions and capable to receive and impart ideas and information. The NRA dictatorship has, on the contrary imposed it that every Uganda citizen must hold only the political opinion of the Movement and must receive and impart only the political ideas of the Movement. In other words, the imposition of the NRA dictatorship means that in politics and in elections as well as in governance God is wrong that every citizen should hold opinions and impart ideas and the NRA dictatorship is right that every citizen must be in and support the political Party of the NRA called the Movement.
When an election is held on the premises that God is wrong and an insurgent Army, the NRA, is right in providing that the voters must not be presented with and must not receive and impart different policies for the governance of the country, any such election becomes a sacrilege and or profanity.
In ordinary life, when a person goes to a shop to buy an attire, the person chooses the texture and the colour but in the very serious matters of politics, elections and governance, the NRA dictatorship has decreed that there is to be no choice and that every citizen must be in the Party of the dictatorship and must obey the dictates of that Party. That is dictatorship and is also a profanity.
Another matter which was not adequately discussed is corruption which Museveni has instituted as a sub-system of governance.
In third-world countries, moral commitment to public service is low and institutions which can fight corruption are in infancy. Corruption in a third-world country becomes rampant when the President is corrupt.
Corruption invaded governance in Uganda openly and aggressively in 1987. The occasion was the currency conversion. 30% of the money in circulation was levied as development Tax. The very huge sum was collected but it never appeared in any Budget. The entire sum went into the pocket of the President. since then, corruption has become a system of governance in Uganda.
In the 1960s, I was told that criminal gangs in the suburbs of Kampala would disappear and stop their activities as soon as they learnt that the police were in their areas. In third-world countries, like Uganda, the police in governance and politics are the opposition Parties.
The prohibition and debarment of opposition Parties from politics and elections, as the NRA dictatorship has imposed, is a prescription for the President, ministers and cronies of the ruling Party to be corrupt precisely because the prohibition and debarment also remove their competitors who are the opposition Parties and also the people's police from the arena.
No political Party and no President wants to be removed from office, through elections on the ground of corruption. It would, in my view, follow that a President who or a Party which believes in governance and elections without opposition Parties, is a President who and a Party which believes in corruption.
In Uganda, corruption is being sustained, promoted and fuelled by:-
- The NRA system of governance.
- The older democracies i.e. Governments in the European Union and North America who continue to praise the NRA dictatorship despite its horrendous record and also finance more than half the Budget of the dictatorship in complete oblivion of the fact that the people of Uganda have no say in the deployment and usage of their aid funds.
You may wish to publish the above views on the 2001 Presidential election and on corruption, to complete what was discussed, in any manner you think fit.
The view that Museveni has done a lot when in over 15 years he has built no secondary Schools or Hospitals and has suppressed the enjoyment and exercise by the citizen of his/her freedoms and the human rights of the individual or that previous regimes and governments did the same or worse can only be a calculated view to detract attention from the horrendous crimes of the NRA dictatorship. Two wrongs do not make a right.
I wish to thank you and the Managers of the Monitor Radio FM for giving me the opportunity to air my views on the lamentable situation in our country where, for over 15 years, horrendous crimes have been committed and continue to be committed while the citizens have no voice in the governance of their country.