Uganda Peoples Congress
Uganda Peoples Congress
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, Uganda House,
P. O. Box 9206, Kampala
The East African Community
19 June 2007
ONLY DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE AND CORRUPTION - FREE ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT WILL STRENGHTHEN THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
- On Monday 18th June, 2007 the 5th Extra Ordinary Summit of Heads of State of the East African Community (EAC) was held at Serena Hotel in Kampala. At that summit, Rwanda and Burundi were welcomed as members of the EAC. The UPC warmly welcomes Rwanda and Burundi to the EAC.
- In his speech at the summit, President Museveni stated that:
- 'According to Article 3, Sub-Article (1) of the EAC Treaty: "A country to join the bloc must have a border with one of the EAC members, must have a democratically elected government and must be running a free market economy"
These pre-requisites were erected in the treaty because of the previous history of the East African Community. The advent of the unelected government of Idi Amin in 1971 was one of the factors that caused the collapse of the EAC in 1977. Therefore, the freely contested election in Rwanda in 2003 and the ones of Burundi in 2005 cleared the way for these countries to fulfill all the conditions to become full members".
- The President was, and in our view intentionally, not precise in his reference to article 3 of the treaty. That article states:
- "Subject to paragraph 4 of this Article, the matters to be taken into account by the Partner states in considering the application by a foreign country to become a member of, be associated with, or participate in any of the activities of the Community, shall include that foreign country's:
- acceptance of the Community as set out in this Treaty;
- adherence to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice;
- potential contribution to the strengthening of integration within the East African region;
- geographical proximity to and inter-dependence between it and the Partner states;
- establishment and maintenance of a market driven economy; and
- social and economic policies being compatible with those of the community.
- The Treaty does not require a merely "democratically elected
government". Even the government of the former one party communist countries
and apartheid South Africa were "democratically elected" in accordance with
their countries constitutions and practices! Rather, the treaty is specific.
It requires amongst other standards:
- "adherence to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice;"
- The requirement to adhere to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, rule of law and observance of human rights and social justice is not a requirement for new members only. It is one for the fundamental principles of the community. Article 6 of the EAC provides:
- Fundamental principles of the community
- The fundamental principles that shall govern the achievement of the objectives of the community by the Partner States shall include:
- mutual trust, political will and sovereign equality;
- peaceful co-existence and good neighbourliness;
- peaceful settlement of disputes;
- good governance including adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability, transparency, social justice, equal opportunities, gender equality as well as the recognition, promotion and protection of human and peoples rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Peoples Rights;
- equitable distribution of benefits; and
- co-operation of mutual benefit.
- Uganda as a partner state of the EAC is guilty of not only failure to observe the fundamental principles of peaceful co-existence and good neighbourliness and peaceful resolution of disputes but its government has over the last twenty one (21) years not honoured the principles of:
- good governance including adherence to the principles of democracy,
- the rule of law,
- social justice,
- equal opportunities,
- gender equality
- recognition, promotion and protection of human and peoples rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Peoples Rights;
- The other evil that our government has promoted and thrived on is to manage the economy on the rusty wheels of corruption. Instead of establishing and maintaining a market driven economy based on the principles of accountability, transparency, social justice, equal opportunities and equitable distribution as the dictates of the EAC treaty require, the NRM government has glorified corruption and nepotism with their attendant negative impact on competitiveness and productivity as the real pillars of governance!
- The people of Uganda who are traumatized by abuse of their fundamental human rights and freedoms are not a free people to engage in productive and competitive production in the East African Community. The majority wallow in abject poverty because corrupt and oppressive government policies deny them opportunities in social economic and political life. The frustration will lead to a violent implosion in Uganda which will inevitably wreck the EAC as happened when Uganda fell into the hands of military dictators in 1971.
- The history of the collapsed EAC and that of other regional unions including the European Union clearly demonstrates that the only guarantee for an enduring union, cooperation or federation is the active involvement of the free peoples of the region concerned. The set up of the current EAC and its present fast tracking towards a political federation is not people centered or driven. It is the handwork of heads of state and a conspiracy of ministers and officials anxious to reap personal rewards. It is not a firm foundation for political social and economic integration and an enduring federation.
- The Uganda Peoples Congress urges the citizens of East Africa to examine the record of their governments as far as the fundamental principles of the EAC are concerned and ensure that corrective measures which effectively involve the citizens of East Africa and their political parties are taken in time to save the nascent EAC the likely collapse.
For God and my Country
Peter Mukidi Walubiri