Uganda Peoples Congress

Uganda Peoples Congress
National Secretariat
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, Uganda House,
P. O. Box 9206, Kampala

Yoweri Museveni's Impunity Will Cause Catastophy

Press Release

31 January 2007

  1. After 21 years of political, constitutional, military and economic manipulation, the NRM leaders and the emerging life president of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni have manoeuvred themselves into a very dangerous position of impunity in Uganda, which if not checked will ruin this country and cause havoc to the region.
  2. This impunity started in 1979 when Yoweri Museveni as a defence minister in the UNLF administration abused his position by massively recruiting and training his FRONASA force. It is this personal army, and not those so-called 27 men, that wrecked havoc in the Luwero triangle and eventually took over government illegally.
  3. Once in government Yoweri Museveni has perfected his personal stronghold over the recruitment, training and deployment of the NRA/UPDF. He is the Commander- in- chief of the army and controls all procurement by the army which position he invariably abuses.
  4. With impunity and an iron hand, Yoweri Museveni has militarily deployed the NRA/UPDF in expensive military misadventures in Rwanda , Burundi, Republic of Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia , Eritrea and now Somalia . In all these adventures thousands of Ugandan soldiers have been killed and used to kill, maim and loot.
  5. The most recent adventure is the UPDF's deployment in Somalia. Long before Ethiopian authorities admitted entering into Somalia , Museveni had sent men and arms to fight alongside the Ethiopian forces in Somalia against the Islamic Courts Union. This deployment was done when UN military embargo was in force and when there was no request by the United Nations or African Union for peace keeping forces. The UPDF trained and entered Somalia over six months ago in an act of partisan impunity by Yoweri Museveni. UPC calls upon the Parliament of Uganda, the African Union and United Nations not to be hoodwinked to embrace this impunity by legitimising Museveni's military adventure in Somalia.
  6. Museveni's impunity has not been restricted to the personalised handling of Uganda army. It has embraced every facet of national life. On politics and democracy, he has ensured that even after the legal opening up of political space, opposition parties are not allowed to function freely.
  7. The police and UPDF disguised as police have been deployed by Yoweri Museveni, to forcefully break up opposition demonstrations, rallies and assemblies. In blatant breach of the Constitution and the Police Act, the Police has arrogated to itself the responsibility of giving permission to the opposition political parties when, where and how to assemble, even though the Constitution is very clear that fundamental human rights and freedoms which include the right to associate, assemble and demonstrate are inherent and not granted by the state.
  8. In this forceful impunity, Yoweri Museveni has ensured that no meaningful political contest takes place. It is now routine for police to beat up peaceful citizens and to fire tear gas into their midst, vehicles and premises.
  9. The worst case of impunity by Yoweri Museveni has been his blatant acts to break the back of the Judiciary as an institution. He has systematically starved it of human and financial resources and is in an advanced stage of abolishing the constitutionally provided security of tenure of judges. The latest attempt has been the purported, forceful and premature retirement of Hon. Justice Okumu Wengi when his complaint against the Judicial Service Commission is pending judgement in the High Court.
  10. To ensure that the judiciary is stripped of its Constitutional role, Yoweri Museveni has, in breach of the Constitution, refused to recognise and enforce the High Court decision to grant bail to the eleven PRA suspects. This, in effect, is an act of overthrowing the 1995 Constitution of Uganda and all Ugandans are constitutionally called upon to protect the Constitution.
  11. The attack on the institution of the Judiciary which is the final arbiter on fundamental human rights and freedoms now exposes the country to a total breakdown of the rule of law and risks of rebellion. As early as 1948 the authors of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the preamble, recognised that "it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by rule of law."
  12. The NRM government has for two decades manipulated politics with impunity under the monolithic one Party dictatorship. UPC had hoped that under the new multiparty political dispensation, it would realise the realities of multiparty democracy. The NRM has refused to abandon impunity in the management of public affairs; it continues to detain the PRA suspects in flagrant breach of court orders; it continues to intimidate the opposition and brutally interfere with their rallies and meetings using violence by the Police and other security agents.
  13. In view of the circumstances prevailing in the country, the UPC has decided to suspend its participation in the Inter Party Committee with immediate effect until there are real actions to stop harassment of the opposition, restoration of the rule of law and transparency in the running of the country.

For God and my Country

Mama Miria Kalule Obote

President, Uganda Peoples Congress