Uganda Peoples Congress
Uganda Peoples Congress
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, Uganda House,
P. O. Box 9206, Kampala
Museveni Militarism Shall Lead to Genocide
25 April 2007
- Uganda Peoples Congress is dismayed by President Museveni recent statement praising and condoning the acts of violence meted against innocent civilians by the "Kiboko militia" instead of apologizing to the citizens. This violent repression of civil and political demonstrations in the city is not only a direct attack on the liberty of the people to assemble in public places to express their views on any matter under the sun but is a recipe for militarization of politics and creation of a violent society.
- The militarization of politics means that state institutions and public institutions in this country will be taken over by militants and run in a military-like fashion. This is a very dangerous development, especially when you have a militarized government being challenged by a vocal opposition who are slowly but surely becoming immune to violence. UPC notes that, since the NRM government has refused to sort out political issues that lead to demonstrations which usually end up in violent confrontation with the police and other security agencies, other civil and opposition groups are now being forced to think in terms of violence as a means of realizing their rights. UPC calls upon the NRM government to re-open direct dialogue with all the civil and opposition groups in this country to sort out the current mess politically and peacefully.
- President Museveni's militarization was seen in the attack against the judiciary and now the legislature perpetuated in the arrest of several opposition Members of Parliament. This legal harassment against MPS is not only meant to undermine the authority of Parliament and the principle of separation of powers but is meant to send fears to the electorate that no body is safe, if their MPS can be bundled and humiliated in the glaring eyes of the public, then what about them?
- This militarization of politics can be seen in the steady increase in the abuse of the powers of the police and misuse of their equipments and tactics in dealing with public demonstrations. The police institution which is supposed to be neutral and not in any circumstances exercise political judgments have now been turned into a partisan institution by the NRM government through deploying their cadres in police, issuing of extra-legal directives to police to disperse members of the public who are legally enjoying their Constitutionally guaranteed freedom and rights to hold rallies and demonstrate peacefully. This has not only strained relationship between the citizens of Uganda and the police but has destroyed the professionalism, popular and human face of the police force.
- The NRM government diagnosed the problems of the police as follows:
- Questionable loyalty to the NRM government and therefore decided to send an army general and their cadres to lead the police.
- Lack of transport that led to the purchase of police cars and technical equipments such as the menacing teargas vehicle.
- Inadequate education in the rank and file of the force, which has led to recruitment of highly, educated people into the police force.
- Corruption, that saw the setting up of Justice Julia Ssebutinde Commission of Inquiry into Corruption in the police force.
- This diagnosis was inadequate and fundamentally faulty. Indeed the solutions tried by NRM have not reformed the police. UPC strongly recommends to the government that:
- What must occur is a significant alteration in the ideology of police so that, they support a democratic legal order in a multiparty setting as opposed to militarism. This ideological shift should also occur to other armed forces, groups, militia and state intelligence organization as well.
- The government should provide adequate training to the police that should promote a professionalized and modern police force, who are skilled in non violent method of crowd control, human rights issues, democracy and the rule of law.
- The government should properly fund and provide adequate resources that facilitate the police to be independent and run efficiently without support from para military militia like the "kiboko squad".
- The government should devise positive and motivational strategies of ending corruption in the police force.
- The Uganda Peoples Congress calls upon the International Community to take seriously the events in our country as a red warning light for a potential genocide. UPC has consistently urged the International Community to make serious intervention in Uganda but nothing much has been done.
- UPC calls upon the people of Uganda to beware of supporting NRM militarism since it shall result in blood bath. The Government of Uganda has an obligation to act now and not only uphold respect for basic freedoms and human rights but publicly condemn police excesses and other action of paramilitary groups in violating the rights of Ugandans if we are to avert the impending genocide.
For God and my Country
Peter Mukidi Walubiri
Secretary General Uganda Peoples Congress