Uganda Peoples Congress
Uganda Peoples Congress
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, Uganda House,
P. O. Box 9206, Kampala
Democracy in Uganda
22 October 2006
CONSTITUTIONAL AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE STILL ELUDES UGANDA
- Uganda Peoples Congress notes with great concern the current political situation prevailing in the country. The brutal dispersing of FDC rally that was supposed to be held at Constitutional Square, the resignation of National Forestry Officials, the unfinished negotiation with the striking Makerere University lecturers, the promise by UPDF to publish the NRA bush war story and the selective prosecution of corrupt government officials while leaving the big fish at large needs serious scrutiny.
- The UPC as a political party that fought for the restoration of multiparty democracy in Uganda is no stranger to the NRM quasi- military tactics of harassing and persecuting members of the opposition political parties. In January 2003, while trying to exercise our constitutional rights to make a contribution towards the fight against global terrorism, we were chased from Constitutional Square to our offices here where a journalism student Higenyi was shot dead by black mambas in LDU uniforms.
- The decline in constitutional and democratic exercise of powers by various state institutions and organs such as the Police, UPDF and paramilitary organizations including violent crime crack unit proves the fact that, the political transition from Movement system of governance to Multiy Party System has been a hoax. The Police action against the FDC leadership and their supporters on Saturday November 18 th was so disgraceful and unconstitutional that it desecrated and made a mockery of the significance and name of the venue, Constitutional Square .
- The statements issued by the LC3 Chairman for Central division in Kampala city, Mr.Godfrey Nyakana and the police spokesman Mr. Edward Ochom that they have banned political parties rallies in Central division and Constitutional Square in particular, are unconstitutional and not only tantamount to arbitrary exercise of power but completely negates the very essence of the change of name from City Square to Constitutional Square. This abuse of power proves that we have a written constitution but without the principle of constitutionalism.
- Where does Mr.Nyakana and Mr.Ochom derive their powers from to ban political activities in Constitutional Square and Central division Kampala?
- Which laws are they applying that supersede the constitutional provision enshrined in the Bill of Rights, chapter four of the 1995 constitution and Political Parties and Organizations Act?
- Where will Mr.Nyakana and other politicians from Central division including Members of Parliament carry their political activities from if not from Central division?
- This trend of blocking opposition members is a continued culture of the NRM even among the local leaders in Uganda . For example, the LC3 Chairman of Petta Sub County in Tororo District issued a stern directive to the UPC Constituency Secretary of West Budama North stopping the Chairman of the Constituency from carrying out a meeting with the party members unless he obtains permission from the RDC. Where does the LC3 Chairman derive his powers from to stop opposition meetings in a multiparty democracy? Which law gives the RDC power to withhold or grant permission to hold political meetings or rallies?
- The prosecution of Mr.Onegi Obel by the IGG and the subsequent summoning of former Minister for Labor, Gender and Social Development Zoe Bakoko Bakoru by the same court is a positive move. However there are several earlier corruption reports implicating big political shots from western Uganda that have never been acted upon. The collapse of Uganda Railways under Mr.Enos Tumusiime and the Justice Ogoola report implicating the former Minister Jim Muhwezi have been shelved. Why the selective sectarian prosecution?
- The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces has also fallen into this trap of violating the newly passed UPDF Act which recreates it from a rag tag NRA bush guerrillas with personal allegiance to President Museveni to a national army supposed to be subordinate to civilian authority. How can the UPDF claim to be the only repository of the true account of the experiences and activities of the NRA guerrilla rebels in Luwero Triangle which events took place before the UPDF was born?
- It's clear as stated before by the UPC that we do not have a national army in Uganda today but only personal army whose leadership comes from one or two counties in Western Uganda. The UPDF must realize that we are now in a multiparty democracy and the dictatorship of the UPDF High Command will be vigorously challenged and resisted.
- The Uganda Peoples Congress urges the government of President Museveni to engage in long-term planning to entrench the Rule of Law and Constitutionalism where state institutions are regulated and governed according to the established laws. They should also create a climate of political maturity where political parties can freely operate in order to consolidate multiparty democracy.
For God and my Country
Mama Miria Kalule Obote
President, Uganda Peoples Congress