Uganda Peoples Congress
MASS KILLINGS AND DICTATORSHIP IN UGANDA
BY A. MILTON OBOTE
PRESIDENT: UGANDA PEOPLES CONGRESS
TO: ALL MEMBERS OF UGANDA PEOPLES CONGRESS
MASS KILLINGS AND DICTATORSHIP IN UGANDA.
- On 10th April, President Museveni gave an account of his over 14 years rule. It was an explicit eulogy in praise of a system of governance under which the people of Uganda have suffered and continue to suffer routine mass killings; have had their God given human rights and freedoms suppressed; have known so much debilitating poverty in a situation where rampant corruption makes the rulers to wallow in ill-gotten wealth.
- Uganda has been governed, since January 1986, under a system of governance which is a crime against humanity. Mass killings, genocide or massacres are crimes against humanity. The personal army which Yoweri Museveni raised in 1979/80 has fought wars since February 1981 to date against disparate adversaries, in all the four Regions of Uganda. In each theatre of war, the nature of mass killings has been the same. Also the same, has been the saturating propaganda to ascribe the killings in every theatre to the disparate adversaries.
- Since only one army namely, the personal army raised by Yoweri Museveni, has been present in each war theatre in each of the four Regions from 1981 to date and since the nature of the atrocities in each theatre has been the same, the constant, persistent and pervading exonerations of that army from all the atrocities by particularly the Uganda dictatorship and governments in the older democracies, have long become part and parcel of the policy to conceal crimes against humanity.
- The existence of dictatorship since January 1986 - over 14 years now - which is strongly supported, praised and its entrenchment is heavily financed by governments in the older democracies, has effectively made the continuing mass killings (crimes against humanity) non-events or events which do not directly originate from the system of governance which is dictatorship.
- Neither the Uganda dictatorship nor any government in the older democracies accepts it as a fact that dictatorship has existed in Uganda for over 14 years now. By denying the fact, the Uganda dictatorship and the governments in the older democracies have therefore been and are inevitably collaborating in entrenching dictatorship under which a culture of mass killings has been established and is to continue.
- The Uganda dictatorship and the governments in the older democracies are determined to dupe and defraud world opinion to believe that the dictatorship which has now existed for over 14 years and under which the culture of mass killings has been established, does not in fact exist and that there has been and there is so much political freedom in Uganda that the electorate are due this coming June to choose and adopt a system of governance in a free and fair referendum. The dupery and fraud come out clearly in that the referendum is to be held under a de facto political system of governance which has removed from politics the enjoyment and exercise by the citizen of his/her human rights and freedoms. That the referendum is to make that removal permanent is not acknowledged but instead concealed by the dictatorship and governments in the older democracies.
- Except for Rwanda which is a satellite of the Uganda dictatorship, governments in the older democracies are vehemently opposed to the Uganda system of governance to obtain or exist in any other African country and will only accept it, should the Uganda dictatorship impose it elsewhere through war of genocide, massacres, devastations and despoliations. Governments in the older democracies therefore have a dual policy, one for Uganda and its satellites and another for the rest of Africa on the very important matter of the human rights and freedoms of the individual. Second, governments in the older democracies have been and are actively promoting multiparty politics and free and fair multiparty elections and governance elsewhere in Africa but not in Uganda where their policy is to entrench through a phony an fraudulent referendum the military cum one-party dictatorship.
- In February 1981, Yoweri Museveni launched and waged a vicious war for four years in Luwero District. His fake and spurious reason was that the December 1980 elections had been rigged. Although he and members of his Party were free to petition the High Court for redress, he avoided the Court precisely on two grounds. The first was that he could not prove in Court that the elections had been rigged. The second ground was that he had in 1979/80 raised a personal army for the conquest and governance of Uganda under a system, which suppresses the human rights and freedoms of the individual citizen.
- On the eve of the referendum to consolidate and entrench the system of governance imposed in January 1986 by Museveni's personal army, Uganda and the rest of the World have been presented with evidence of mass killings in Kanungu and surrounding areas. The road from Luwero District to Kanungu in Rukingiri District has been strewn with much bloodshed and mass killings.
- To eulogize a track record of much bloodshed, mass killings, suppressions of the human rights and freedoms of the individual, corruption as a tenet of governance, impoverishment of the people of Uganda as Museveni did on 10th April and for governments in the older democracies to continue to support, praise and heavily finance in order to entrench the continuance of the track record, is to remove the people of Uganda from the applications of the UN Declaration of Human Rights Charter and therefore from the human race.
- The foundation of the system of governance, which Museveni was eulogizing, is a military Proclamation and not the plighted and sublime political position of the people of Uganda. The legacy of the Independence Struggle and of Independence itself is that not only the country must be free from foreign rule but also that every citizen must always be free to enjoy and exercise his/her human rights and freedoms of the individual. The legacy of the Independence Struggle was annulled by Museveni's personal insurgent army, which instead imposed governance by that army and its Political Wing once known as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and now known as the Movement.
- 12. Governance by the army and its political Wing as well as the removal of the voice of the citizen from the governance of Uganda, were made explicit in the army's Proclamation the Preamble of which reads as follows:-
- "WHEREAS on the 26th day of January, 1986, the National Resistance Army, for reasons given in the Statement to the National Resistance Army and the National Resistance Movement on that day, took over the powers of the Government of the Republic of Uganda and vested those powers in the National Resistance Council: NOR PURSUANT to such powers I HEREBY PROCLAIM:"
- Although it was the National Resistance Army (NRA) which "took over the powers of the Government of the Republic of Uganda" and which have never been returned to the people for them to exercise through their elected representatives who are elected upon the freedoms of conscience and of association and in competitive free and fair multiparty elections, the Proclamation issued by the NRA was signed by "Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Chairman, National Resistance Movement" and the organ which was the real force or power namely, the NRA was thereby concealed. This concealment of what is real or fact in the governance of Uganda has continued and has become, since 1986, a tenet of governance.
- The tenet is explicit in the concealment that the Movement Political System of governance is not in office, has not been in office since 1986 and has to be a candidate in the referendum so as to enable the electorate to decide by their votes whether the Movement or any other system should be adopted. The concealment of the Movement being in office since 1986, is most explicit in the Constitution Promulgated in 1995 where at Articles 69 and 271 it is provided that the people shall determine either through free and fair elections or referendum the political system they wish to adopt. In his harangue on 10th April, Museveni, on the other hand, clearly gave it out that the Movement without being chosen and adopted as provided in Articles 69 and 271 of the Constitution has, in fact, been in office since 1986, and that is the real situation which is also provided in paragraph (e) of Article 269 of the Constitution.
- The referendum to be held next June is therefore cynically phony, most fraudulent and a glaring chicanery precisely because the Movement is already in office and has been in office since 1986 and has, during the same period of over 14 years outlawed and made morbid all its competitors. Last October when Peter Hain, the British Minister of State in the Foreign Office was in Uganda, Museveni wrote a letter to a newspaper. In the letter, he asserted that the Movement system shall continue until or unless the Movement recommends it to the electorate to change it through a referendum. Since the Movement system is to continue in office after the referendum, what then is the purpose of the very costly referendum if not a chicanery to dupe the international community to believe that its continuance in office is the choice of the people?
- The most offending and arrogant reality in the assertion made by Museveni is that the Movement is the custodian of the freedom of conscience and custodian of the human rights and freedoms of the individual citizen of Uganda. Since the custodian is not to recommend to the electorate a change of system in the June referendum, the outcome is a foregone conclusion which therefore confirms the referendum to be phony, fraudulent and a chicanery to deceive.
- For the past 14 years, the Movement system of governance has prohibited the Uganda citizen to determine the nature and level of his/her participation in the politics of the country. The system has imposed it that participation in politics, elections and governance can and must only be under the aegis of the Movement and therefore that there must be no competing political associations (Parties) and no articulated opposing and different ideas or policies in the political arena. This policy and characteristic of the Movement is a gross violation of the human rights and freedoms of the individual and to have the Movement as a candidate in the referendum shall also amount to have the nature and level of the enjoyment and exercise of the human rights and freedoms of the individual to be determined by strangers which is an unmitigated profanity and evil. The Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) reaffirms and reiterates that even if it should be released from the shackles of morbidity in Article 269 of the Constitution, the Party shall not subscribe to or participate in a profane and evil referendum which is also, at the same time, phony and fraudulent.
- The greatest hoax in or about the referendum is that the Movement shall have competitors. Since the provisions of Article 269 of the Constitution are to remain in force in the run-up to the referendum, it follows most clearly that there can be no viable competitor to the Movement in the referendum. Secondly, under the Movement Act, the Movement has established tentacles from every village upwards and all institutions of governance such as Parliament and every Lower Council are now organs of the Movement. In addition, the Headquarters, staff and operations of the Movement are financed from public funds. None of the make-believe groups registered by the Electoral Commission to be the competitors of the Movement in the referendum has the muscle anywhere near that of the Movement and even all of them working together, their combine efforts cannot seriously be considered as a viable competitor of the Movement.
- The Movement has already won the referendum on account of the provisions of Article 269 of the Constitution being in force in the run-up to the referendum. Despite or in spite of knowing the practical effect of the provisions of the Article, there are governments in the older democracies that are still urging the political Parties to deceive world public opinion that they (the Parties) can participate in the referendum. The parties have been and are being urged to accept it that the debilitating hemlock which the Movement dictatorship has served on their structures and virility for over 14 years is, in fact, and energizing antidote for effective participation in the referendum. The position of the governments in the older democracies is another concealment, the concealment of a one candidate referendum by roping into it sham and ineffectual competitors.
- It has been either a sinister policy or the inability of the governments in the older democracies not to see the National Resistance Army (NRA) and its political Wing, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) as a monster which has made the people of Uganda to suffer so much death, deprivations, devastations, despoliations and loss of human rights and freedoms. After the referendum, the situation will be worse and what is to come has already been predicated in Kanungu where hundreds of people were massacred and buried in deep mass graves without anyone bearing witness and in a place which is not a war zone and which is under a system of governance in which every hamlet is under the watch of the apparatchik of the dictatorship for 24 hours a day.
- Mass killings have been most pronounced and most preponderant under the system of governance established by the NRA/NRM/Movement. The irony in the Uganda tragedy is that when the NRA removed a gormless military Junta in January 1986, the NRA faced no opposition political or military. When the leaders of the Democratic Party (DP) and the Conservative Party (CP) became soon thereafter Cabinet Ministers, their decision gave the regime much needed credence. The Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) whose government had been overthrown in a coup by the Junta in July 1985, regarded the removal of the Junta as a poetic justice and decided to take a low profile.
- Peace returned to the whole country soon after the overthrow of the military Junta. It was given a great booster by the promise by Museveni made on 28th January 1986 that his regime will last for four years after which elections would be held. Since free and fair multiparty elections were provided in Chapter III of the 1967 Constitution and since the NRA Proclamation left the entire Chapter intact, prospects for peace and stability were not only present but also great.
- In the middle of March, 1986, despite the leaders of the DP and CP being Cabinet ministers, the NRA/NRM without any legislation but only by a mere Statement issued what has since become the corner stone of the system of governance and which the referendum is designed to entrench. The corner stone now codified in Article 269 of the 1995 Constitution provides as follows:-
- No political Party is permitted to open and/or operate Branch offices;
- No political Party is permitted to hold a Delegates Conference (Convention) in order to formulate its policies or elect its national leaders;
- No political Party is permitted to hold public rallies or meetings in order to debate public affairs or official policies;
- No political Party is permitted to sponsor or offer a platform to or in any way campaign for or against a candidate for any public elections; and
- No political Party is permitted to carry on any activities that may interfere with the Movement system of governance which does not permit competition nor opposition.
- The abominable system of governance established by the NRA/NRM/Movement, is characterized by the removal of the God given human rights and freedoms of the individual from politics, elections and governance; has been and is sustained by pronounced and preponderant mass killings which, in turn, has produced the culture of rebel armies and the system is therefore a crime against humanity but which, unaccountably, has been and is still being supported, praised and heavily financed by governments in the older democracies. Kanungu, a rural community where all the adults know one another and are in daily contact, should alert the governments in the older democracies, even at this late hour before the referendum, that there is something most horrible and wicked in a system of governance under which massacres and burials can occur in a rural area where everyone knows one another without any single person knowing anything about the massacres and secret burials. Even if the victims were all foreigners such as the Hutus or Congolese it is impossible that no one in Kanungu knew of the mass killings and burials which therefore raises the question of why the total ignorance of the Kanungu residents.
- The Kanungu cult leaders and members were not the rulers of Kanungu and the surrounding areas. They did not control the Resistance Councils which President Museveni and his dictatorship established in Kanungu, the surrounding areas and throughout Uganda.
- The bodies of the Kanungu victims having been exhumed from mass graves were hurriedly buried in new mass graves on the lame excuse that Uganda has no forensic capacity to preserve the bodies and determine the identities of the victims. There is a Forensic Department at the Makerere Medical School and also at the Government Chemist. If the authorities were really concerned or wanted, nothing stood in the way against their asking for forensic assistance from countries near and far. As it happened, the authorities have buried much evidence of what really happened to the victims and the reason for the ignorance of the Kanungu residents may lay in the decision of the authorities to hurriedly bury the bodies and to ban local journalists to visit the areas.
- After the church inferno, some people came out and easily pointed to mass graves over tall grass and even under the floor of a house and pointed to bodies of victims in pit latrines. Who are these people and where were they when the massacres were being committed and bodies of victims being buried in mass graves or thrown into pit latrines. What happened in Kanungu is very reminiscent to what happened in Luwero District in 1986. After establishing its dictatorship, the NRA officers and men went into the District and unerringly pointed to mass graves, all over tall grass, from whence human remains were exhumed. Kanungu appears to be history repeating itself.
- What happened in Kanungu is clearly not yet out. The only thing, which can be said with certainty, is that the conspiracy of silence could never have existed or taken root had the political Parties been active and operative. That the conspiracy existed and took root condemns the Movement System as a crime against humanity.
- It would be a very grave mistake for the people of Uganda, the governments in the older democracies and the international community to believe that what happened in Kanungu and the surrounding areas had nothing to do with the system of governance established by the NRA and NRM in January 1986. Until what caused the conspiracy of silence becomes fully known, the system of governance must remain a leading suspect in the Kanungu mass killings.
- The Kanungu killings fall squarely into the category of previous killings such as those committed during the Force Obote Back Again (FOBA) operations of 1986 in areas where there was no war. The difference, this time, is that some cult leaders are being blamed for the Kanungu killings whereas in the previous FOBA cases, the same FOBA army did not exist and was a pure invention and pretext.
- Even if it should be proved that the cult leaders and members committed the crimes, the fact that hundreds of people were massacred and buried not is shallow but in deep graves with no one outside the cult knowing anything, condemns the Resistance Councils and the Intelligence apparatchiks of the dictatorship. The Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) therefore demands the immediate resignations or dismissals of the minister of Local Government (responsible for the Resistance Councils) and of the minister of Internal Affairs (responsible for Internal security).
A. Milton ObotePresident
Uganda Peoples Congress
April, 14, 2000
P.O. Box 50751,