Uganda Peoples Congress
UGANDA PEOPLES CONGRESS
(Office of the President)
A. MILTON OBOTE
UGANDA PEOPLES CONGRESS (UPC)
ON THE OCCASION OF:
THE LAUNCH OF THE NATIONAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE (NOC).Fellow citizens and friends of Uganda, permit me to address guests and UPC members who are citizens with the dear words of fellow citizens because this is a happy occasion and I cannot therefore address them as the population which the rulers of Uganda have been using since 1986.
- Fellow citizens and friends of Uganda, this is a ceremony and a celebration to mark the first political victory over the dictatorship of the National Resistance Army (NRA) and its political Party the National Resistance Movement (NRM).
- A clear proof that Uganda has been and is a dictatorship is provided in Article 269 of the 1995 Constitution. Uganda's political Parties have been removed from politics and from public elections so as to leave only the NRA and its Party in politics and in public elections.
- The first prohibition and debarment against political Parties in Article 269 of the Constitution is that none of them should have a functioning Branch anywhere in Uganda. That provision in the Constitution was lifted and provided in Sections 18 and 19 of the Political Parties and Organisations Act (POA) 2002.
- Sections 18 and 19 of POA 2002 are severely attacked in the Petition filed by the UPC, other sister Parties and concerned citizens in the Constitutional Court. The Court has not yet heard and disposed of the Petition.
- The Court has however, heard and disposed of the Petition filed by the sister Party the Democratic Party which also attacked Sections 18 and 19 of POA 2002. The verdict of the Court was that the two Sections are unconstitutional.
- While waiting for our Petition to be heard and disposed of by the Court, I as President of the UPC who has been frozen in that position by Article 269 of the Constitution, publicly extend on behalf of my Party our congratulations to my brother Paul Ssemogerere the President of the DP and to members of the DP and its lawyers for the victory in Court.
- Ever since the dictatorship was imposed on Uganda in January 1986, all the opposition Parties have maintained peace in a situation where the rulers have abandoned the Rule of Law.
- Today, even with the Court victory of the Democratic Party the dictatorship has not allowed the opposition Parties to reactivate or revive the Branches of their respective Parties. The silly excuse is that the Parties have not registered as provided in the Constitution and in POA 2002.
- It is a silly excuse precisely because on an Application by the UPC, the Constitutional Court has ruled that all registrations be postponed until it has heard and disposed of all Petitions against POA 2002 and as I have stated the Court has yet to hear and dispose of the UPC Petition.
- Fellow citizens and friends of Uganda, today is a very happy day. With the Law as defined by the Constitutional Court being on the side of the political Parties as victims of the NRM dictatorship, the UPC has appointed this day as the beginning to send to all corners of Uganda 15 Nationalists who are all members of the UPC on a mission to return Uganda and her people to the noble ideals of the country's Independence Legacy as it existed before the force majeure imposed by the NRA.
- The genesis of Uganda's current system of governance which the UPC regards as dictatorship is the Proclamation issued on 26 January 1986 by the Terrorist National Resistance Army (NRA) and its political Party the National Resistance Movement (NRM).
- The Proclamation asserted with the backing of the guns of the NRA that the NRA had taken over the powers of the people of Uganda (Government of Uganda) and vested those powers in a committee of the NRM. It is the beginning of the campaigns to return to the people their powers that this ceremony is celebrating.
- Legal Notice No. 1 of 1986 made the Proclamation of the NRA to be the Constitution of Uganda and the parameters of which were provided in Articles of the 1995 Constitution. Today, this ceremony celebrates the beginnings of a conscious mission for Uganda's politics and public elections to have more than one political Party.
- The repressive military dictatorship of the NRM and other people may deride today's ceremony and celebration but the UPC is openly repeating history today. In 1952 without public announcement or ceremony, the Gracious and Noble Uganda National Congress (UNC) the father of the UPC sounded the drums of the Independence of Uganda.
- Today, at this ceremony and celebration, the UPC is openly giving Notice to the NRM dictatorship that Uganda's political Parties shall each have active Branches participating in Uganda's politics and public elections. The messengers for that eventuality are the 15 UPC nationalist members of the National Organising Committee of the UPC. Like the founders of the father of their Party, the 15 Nationalists today embark on the second Liberation of Uganda.
- The 15 Nationalist UPC members shall go to all corners of Uganda with a vast proud records of the UNC and of the UPC.
- In March 1952 the UNC said: Let there be Self-Government Now; and there was Self-Government nine years later on 1st March 1961.
- In March 1952 the UNC said: Let there be elections on the model of one man one vote, and six years later in October 1958 against the desire of the colonial Government which manipulated matters to get the unelected District Councils to decide whether or not a District "wanted elections" there were elections in 10 Districts "which wanted elections."
- The Constituent parts of Uganda which did not want elections in 1958 were Ankole, Buganda and Bugisu. The rest wanted elections and Busoga for the purposes of the 1958 elections was divided into two. Although there were more, only two political Parties the UNC and the DP contested the 1958 elections and the UNC won 5 seats in Acholi, Lango, Teso, Bukedi, one in Busoga. The DP won in West Nile and the rest (4 seats) in Kigezi, Bunyoro, Toro and one in Busoga were won by Independents who later formed the Uganda Peoples Union which in 1960 merged with the UNC to form the UPC.
- From 1959 principally on account of the activities of the UNC and the DP, Ankole and Bugisu abandoned opposition to elections but not Buganda. Someone who claims to be a son from Ankole being the leader of the Terrorist NRA was to suppress in 1986 the multiparty competitive elections to which Ankole and the rest of Uganda except Buganda had agreed as basic system of governance. The Buganda opposition to elections the strongest proponents of which were and still are the political Parties all of which at formation such as the UNC, DP, Progressive Party (PP) had not only Baganda as their leaders but also much followings in Buganda was most unfortunate because it coincided with opposition to the political Parties being active in Buganda and which also coincided with the decision by the Lukiiko for Buganda not to be represented in the Central Legislature in 1958 which was to have some directly elected members and also most unfortunate because the decision of the Lukiiko also further coincided with its demands for a Federal Relation with the rest of Uganda which was later compounded by the decision that the Lukiiko and not the voters in Buganda were to elect Buganda's Representatives to the National Assembly.
- From 1958 Buganda therefore had a mind boggling political cocktail of: -
- Buganda not to be represented in the Central legislature which decision was taken in 1958 and confirmed in 1959.
- No public elections to the Central Legislature. The decision was taken in 1958 and confirmed in 1960.
- No political Parties in Buganda. The decision was taken in 1959.
- The Lukiiko and not the voters to elect Buganda's Representatives to the Central Legislature. The decision was taken in 1961 after the elections of that year.
- Buganda to have Federo or Independence. The Resolution was passed in the Lukiiko in December 1959 .
- The political cocktails made the Federo in the 1962 Constitution to be prey to ambitious, selfish and cantankerous politicians who wanted to wield power without corresponding responsibilities because Buganda's Federo (the largest): -
- Denied direct link with and protection of the people in Buganda who should have elected Buganda's Representatives to the National Assembly.
- Denied the protection of political parties to be active in Buganda as well as in other parts of Uganda and to be eager to form a government at Mengo.
- Denied the protection of the people in Buganda who would have been free to be in active politics in Buganda as well as in all parts of Uganda and to hold offices in National political Parties.
- The oppositions to political parties being active in Buganda, to direct elections to the national Assembly made Buganda's Federo (the largest in the 1962 Constitution) to be born without a father and not even a guardian. That is why it was taken over in 1965 by selfish, ambitious and cantankerous politicians who like prostitutes wanted to use Buganda's Federo to wield power without responsibilities. The power of representation which the people wield inherent in direct elections to the National Assembly and in active political Parties being in Buganda had been wilted away when the take over was made.
- The 15 UPC Nationalists shall go to Buganda. The Nationalists shall tell the people that as much as the UPC supports Federo for parts of Uganda which want it, Federo without the protection of the political Parties, at least two Parties operating and active in Buganda shall be a baby without a father and protection.
- The nationalists shall also tell the people that the NRM being the political Wing of the military is not a civil Party and believes in dictatorship and that dictatorship is by definition the world over does not believe in more than one centre of governance. The Nationalists will warn that the NRM which has already banned the calling of meetings to debate Federo and wants its leader to be a Life dictator may say what are most pleasing to hear about Federo in order to get its Leader to be Life dictator.
- The UPC Nationalists will tell the people everywhere that without the UPC which is most passionate to deliver on its promises, there could not have been Federo in the 1962 Constitution. They will tell the people that the Federo in the 1962 Constitution was conceived in the night of the elections of 1961 when the Kabaka of Buganda rang and spoke to the UPC President. Although it was after 11 pm the Kabaka urged the UPC President to defeat the DP in the elections which Buganda had effectively boycotted. The telephone conversation was developed into Buganda and the UPC working together for the Independence of Uganda and included UPC/KY Alliance.
- Had the Kabaka Yekka been a real political Party and not a Movement like the NRM and had it been engaged in promoting the enjoyment and exercise of the human rights and freedoms of the individual citizen, it would not have been taken over by cantankerous politicians who caused the break up of the Federo in the 1962 Constitution. The lesson is clearly that unless Federo is protected by at least two political Parties actively competing in politics and public elections, Federo is most fragile and can easily break.
- The UPC did not win the 1961 elections to the National Assembly contested by 5 Political Parties as itself and the Kabaka Sir Edward had wanted or hoped but the published results of the elections gave the UPC a proud record which the 15 Nationalists and freedom road finders will take to every corner of Uganda.
- The published results showed that: -
- The UPC won in areas of Uganda where the elections were not boycotted receiving 494,959 votes cast to its nearest rival which received 415,718 votes cast.
- The UPC did not use its victory in areas where the elections had been free and fair to campaign and cause instability that it had won the elections as many Parties in Africa have done.
- Only the UPC Leader of all Party Leaders was returned unopposed in his Constituency.
- The votes of 21,295 cast for the UPC Vice President in his Constituency was more than the 19,534 votes cast for the winning Party throughout the province of Buganda.
- The UPC developed the telephone conversation which the Kabaka and the UPC leader had on the night of the 1961 elections and also its victory in areas where the elections were not boycotted to get the Kabaka, the Kabaka's Government and Buganda's Lukiiko to rescind the Lukiiko's decision of 1958 for Buganda not to be represented in the National Assembly. This was later made less whole when the Lukiiko reneged and decided to elect Buganda's Representatives instead of the people doing so. The UPC responded by not fielding candidates in the elections to the Lukiiko.
- In closing Uganda's first Constitutional Conference, the British Secretary of State for the Colonies stated on 9 October, 1961 that Uganda was to have internal self government on 1st March 1962 with a Prime Minister. While the Leader of the Party which had won the 1961 elections accepted the Conference to be closed on that note, the UPC Leader demanded that the date for Independence be announced before the Conference closed. There were four adjournments as the Secretary of State consulted his Prime Minister. At last after 4 adjournments the Secretary of State announced that: "provided all arrangements can be made in time, Uganda shall be Independent one year from today 9 October 1961 and Uganda became Independent on 9 October 1962 in fulfilment of the UNC's clarion call in 1952 in the words of "Self Government Now" which took about ten years. The son, UPC had fulfilled the wishes of his father."
- The agreed system of governance of Independent Uganda and as Legacy to the memories of those who participated in the Independence struggles was provided in the Independence Constitution of 1962 and repeated in the Constitution of 1966 and 1967. It was that the people govern Uganda and possessed the powers of the Government of Uganda through their elected representatives who are elected in public elections contested by more than one political Party. The system also stipulated that except with his consent no citizen is to be hindered in the enjoyment of his human rights and in exercising his freedoms.
- The Terrorist NRA took over possession of the powers of the Government of Uganda by the people and invested them in a committee of its NRM Party which, in turn, continued the take over in the 1995 Constitution.
- Today, at this ceremony, and celebration, the UPC publicly announces its decision to revive and reactivate its Branches as the first step to the return to the people their powers to govern Uganda as provided in the 1962 Constitution repeated in the 1967 Constitution. The UPC also announces to work for citizens of Uganda to enjoy and exercise unhindered the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual.
- Unlike the Kangaroo Party of the Uganda dictatorship which goes by the name of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) has existed by inheriting and zealously keeping the human rights attributes in the birth of its parent - the Uganda National Congress (UNC) borne in 1952. Amongst those attributes are that every citizen be free to form or join a political party of his choice and that no one be conscripted into a political party in the manner in which the dictatorship of the National Resistance Army (NRA) and the NRM has done since January 1986.
- Whereas NRM has been most demonic to Ugandan citizens by suppressing their God given fundamental human rights and freedoms, UPC on the other hand incarnates, encompasses, encapsulates and embodies everything noble and beautiful in the enjoyment and exercise by the citizen of his human rights and freedoms consequently. UPC cherishes respect for human rights and freedoms as a God given heritage. Twice when the UPC formed the Government of Uganda, the Party never amended the Constitution to provide for a one-Party State or to suppress the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual.
- Seventeen years of NRM one-Party cum military dictatorship have not only been characterised by political repression and suppression of fundamental human rights and freedoms but have also been punctuated by wars, massacres, destruction and despoliations launched against peaceful and unarmed civilians and which wars are still being waged in the districts of Kitgum, Pader, Gulu, Apac, Lira, Soroti, Katakwi, Kumi, Kotido, Moroto, Nakapiripirit. Kasese and Bundibugyo as battlegrounds. The wars have extended beyond the borders of Uganda into Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and Sudan leading to the loss of millions of lives, extensive destruction of property and plunder of vital natural resources.
- As citizens and friends of Uganda are peacefully gathered at this ceremony, citizens of Uganda are also being massacred in various Districts. In the Districts of Gulu, Pader and Kitgum, the massacres have been going on since mid-March 1986. Despite blames on the now well known Lord's Resistance Army, many massacres have also been committed by the official army. To have taxpayers' money buy the guns to massacre taxpayers is perhaps the greatest crime of all.
- When after signing the Proclamation of the NRA in 1986, President Museveni stated that he was to introduce a fundamental change, Uganda's leaders never thought that the fundamental change would be the massacres of citizens. Since it is now clear that Museveni's fundamental change is really the massacres of citizens of Uganda and the looting of the resources of the people, Uganda's leaders should speak out with louder voices. Uganda still has and shall always have leaders. Uganda's leaders do not need guns like those in the hands of Joseph Kony and Yoweri Museveni. Each of Uganda's leaders has the God given weapons such as brain power to see and the tongue to speak out against evil.
- Today and at this ceremony, the UPC now declares war against the evils in Museveni's dictatorship and the Party shall use only brain power, the tongue and the pen.
- In 1996 during the Presidential elections campaign, Museveni said that he was not going to leave his army to another person. He repeated the same insult to the voters of Uganda in the Presidential elections of 2001. Now, let Uganda's leaders who are in the political Parties, in Parliament, in the Christian Churches, in Islam and in communities take up the war against evil. Let the Parliamentarians for instance unite and block his Third Term desire and the Parliamentary members should also examine whether or not they have the numbers to enact democracy under Articles 20 and 21 of the Constitution. Let the political Parties unite and face the dictatorship's Negotiating Team with only one Team and let the world witness fall of the Museveni dictatorship.
- There are five most perturbing matters in what is now called the Northern war and they are as follows: -
- The war and massacres began in mid-March 1986.
- Operation Iron Fist launched in 2002 to rid Uganda of the LRA menace, now appears to have been launched to help the LRA to expand.
- After the NRM sent its Resolutions to the Sempebwa Commission, gunmen in uniform later described as LRA by the dictatorship began to appear in Apac and Lira Districts and are now said to be in Katakwi, Soroti and Kumi Districts.
- President Museveni went to Gulu with much fanfare to fight the LRA and from there ordered Ministerial Budgets to be reduced to raise funds to fight the LRA but he is now mostly in Teso where he claims the LRA now has bases as opposed to its having bases in Sudan.
- It now seem as if the more the NRM wants its leader to be Life President, the more the LRA expands its areas of operations.
- Military adventurism perpetrated by Museveni replaced Uganda's long standing tradition of good neighbourliness, regional co-operation and peaceful co-existence fostered by the first UPC government. In the 1960s, Uganda played a pivotal role in the establishment of the East African Community, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the Non-Aligned Movement. Kampala was the venue for the signing of the East African Treaty for co-operation in 1964. A similar policy was pursued by UPC in the 1980s. In 1984 the UPC government concluded a Mediation Agreement with Kenya and Tanzania on the assets of the defunct East African Community and set in motion the basis for peaceful future relations of the three countries.
- The UPC administrations of the 1960s and early 1980s honoured and diligently observed all international conventions on refugees. Under the auspices of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Uganda gave asylum to a large number of refugees from Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Sudan, with secure settlements, appropriate basic amenities like clean water, health and medicare, education and employment opportunities. Never did the UPC administrations unilaterally arm, encourage or permit refugees to mobilise and wage war against their countries of origin using Uganda as a base. That contrasts starkly with the policy and practice of NRM dictatorship, which has caused mayhem, untold misery, despoliation and death in the Great Lakes Region. Uganda today stands isolated and alienated.
- When, forty one years ago, Uganda attained independence, the UPC government declared war on poverty, ignorance and disease. Appropriate policies and measures were put in place to fight the three public enemies: poverty, disease and ignorance. Hospitals, schools, quality roads and other social and economic infrastructure were built. The government supported and expanded the co-operative movement, marketing boards and converted the Uganda Credit and Savings Bank into the Uganda Commercial Bank to provide crop finance for cotton, coffee and other agricultural produce. The Uganda Development Corporation was restructured and strengthened to stimulate economic growth. The country made significant strides towards economic development and social progress during the immediate post independence years. Unfortunately in the intervening period military dictatorships have destroyed and eroded the post independence social and economic gains. The country continues to be afflicted by diseases, illiteracy, hunger and poverty to unprecedented levels.
- The UPC economic policy has always been to serve the best interests of the citizens of Uganda. To that end, foreign investment has always been regarded as supplementary to our own efforts. The UPC strategy is to place emphasis on mobilising Uganda's human and natural resources to increase and improve productivity, stimulate capital accumulation and endeavour in every possible way to raise the standard of living and improve the quality of life of the citizens. It is the duty of every Ugandan to do what it takes to reverse the current trend of dependence syndrome ushered in by NRM. In contrast, NRM has put to waste the economic and social infrastructure painfully funded by the taxpayer and built by the UPC governments. This unparalleled destruction has been accomplished through senseless wars, sheer neglect, corruption, nepotism, ineptitude, theft and fraudulent sale of public enterprises, under the guise of privatisation.
- The purpose and the deepest meaning of this Ceremony today, is to affirm the Sovereignty of the people of the Sovereign Republic of Uganda which, could not have been admitted to be member of the UNO or Commonwealth or Non-Aligned Movement or be founder members of the OAU (now AU), COMESA and the East African Community unless her people were also Sovereign.
- We hold this ceremony today to assert that the people of Uganda cannot and must not be regarded abroad as Sovereign when in fact Ugandans and in their homes and also in their political activities countrywide are slaves of one political Party known as the National Resistance Movement (NRM).
- We meet today to charge the NRM before the Court of World Public Opinion with the heinous and inhuman crime of suppressing the God ordained enjoyment and exercise of the human rights and freedoms of association, assembly, conscience and the freedom to participate in the politics and governance of Uganda.
- The opposition political Parties in Uganda including those recognised in Article 270 of the Constitution as existing have all, on behalf of the people of Uganda filed Petitions in the Constitutional Court against POA 2002.The Court has heard and disposed of one Petition where it ruled that Sections 18 and 19 of POA are unconstitutional but the NRM Government has continued, as befits an outlaw, to behave as if the Court has not pronounced upon what is and is not the law.
- Unlike the NRM Government, we meet here today to reinforce the verdict of the Constitutional Court that it is unconstitutional to suppress the freedom of a political Party to open offices below the national level which all the political Parties (except the NRM) call Branches. We meet today therefore to launch the National Organising Committee (NOC) of the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC). NOC shall be responsible and shall carry out the tasks of:-
- Reactivating and reviving all the UPC Branches which existed before the force majeure as for example, in Article 269 of the NRA/NRM 1995 Constitution made them to be dormant.
- Establishing UPC Branches where they did not exist before and during the force majeure of the NRA/NRM.
- Together with other party organs to mobilise all party members and Ugandans of goodwill to relentlessly fight against political manipulation, machinations, repression, human rights abuse and all forms of dictatorship and to restore Uganda to competitive multiparty democracy.
- The NOC shall have two basic segments, one at the National and another at the District levels. The Peoples Representative Council (PRC) shall continue to be the UPC's Internal Parliament and the Presidential Policy Commission shall continue to be UPC's governing body.
- Let me explain why UPC has deemed it necessary to establish NOC;
- As a result of 17 years of suppression of multiparty political activities by the NRM dictatorship, the body fabric of the Party's Branches at the parish/ward and at other levels and other Party organs has been handicapped in their operations and they do not exist even in name only.
- Many Party leaders at the national and other levels have either been forced into exile, imprisoned, killed or died with ways of replacing them bound by the dictatorship thereby weakening Party structures and organs.
- The ultimate owners of the Party, namely the millions of its members can no longer effectively control the destiny of their Party in absence of their well-organised Branches and organs.
- Without active Branches in politics and in public elections, the voice of the youth in the management of Party affairs and of the country has been suppressed for over 17 years and shall continue to be suppressed.
- The Party and its Constitution can only effectively be worked, managed and controlled by Party members through internal Party elections which begin at the Branches but which have been suppressed over the past over 17 years.
- There is urgent need to fully reactivate and revitalise the Party and return its ultimate control and direction to its membership who are the owners of the Party.
- It is imperative that all Party members wherever they may be are involved in the task of revitalising and reactivating the Party Branches and organs.
- There is urgent need to mobilise all Party members and Ugandans of goodwill to intensify the struggle against:-
- Monolithic and dictatorial rule;
- Corruption, (the esteemed Geneva based World Economic Forum (WEF) at its Meeting from 11 to 13 June in Durban ranked Uganda the seventh most corrupt country in Africa), massive economic waste, mismanagement and plunder which have led to wanton poverty and decay of social services;
- The deliberate policy of keeping the country perpetually under internal wars as a means of retaining control of power and government;
- The policy of exporting war and plunder to Uganda's neighbours.
- Known that the top organs of the NRM met at Kyankwanzi and Kampala and passed resolutions which were sent to the Constitutional Review Commission.
- None of the Resolutions of the top organs of the NRM included the Repeals of Articles 269 and 271 of the Constitution or of POA 2002 and Movement Act where dictatorship and one-Party elections are provided.
- The Resolutions of the top organs of the NRM demanded more power to the Leader of the NRM including Life dictator.
- Another NRM organ, the Cabinet also made some proposals to the Sempebwa Commission and the proposals are similar in all respects to the previous Resolutions of the top organs giving the clear impression that there is an underhand attempt in advance to blackmail Parliament that the contents of the resolutions and proposals are Sempebwa's Recommendations as if the Sempebwa commission so thickly packed with job seekers has not been an NRM outfit.
A. Milton OboteLUSAKA, ZAMBIA.
21 October, 2003.