Category 09 -11 elections

Akena Releases Documents on UAH that take his war against Otunu to another level


In the hope that we will move from speculations to facts I wish to shed some light on the regrettable situation in the UPC. Undoubtedly, there are problems in the Party but it helps no one to out-rightly dismiss them or falsely apportion blame. From the time a quit my $700pm job, sold my Isuzu KB 2.2D pick-up and invested in the Internet where I’ve had opportunity to interact with various people from Ugandanet (@edu then @kym), Fedsnet, Mwanainchi etc, I have never looked back and I’d like to think defended my Party to the best of my abilities.

In the just concluded elections, I have no regrets in campaigning for UPC candidates in Kole, Kwania, Agago, Oyam, Kaberamaido, Soroti and Serere. There were places, like Lira where primaries could not be described as “free and fair” and the appeals were ignored by the powers that be, where in effect we had official candidates and peoples candidates. Were I to be given and opportunity to ‘answer’ the charges for decampaigning anyone, I would surely call those with whom I campaigned to testify but without ever being given an opportunity to defend myself, summary judgement is being passed.

What I find most perturbing is that without my accusers proving my purported guilt and I being given an opportunity to put my case, attempts at punitive actions are being pursued. In the context of the attached documents I was incensed when Otunnu stated: “Honourable Jimmy Akena is not a member of UPC” not ‘party’ as some people a quoting. Much as some of us may wish to dismiss it as an unfortunate ‘slip’ of the tongue, the timing and context could not get any worse when I had raised my concerns on John Odit’s letter.

James Akena

FDC is not a one man’s party


I respond to some people’s communication in which they wondered if and when Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye ever takes off time to have a vacation.

I would like to assure them and indeed all others who have Uganda at heart that Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye often take time off to recharge his batteries, but since February 18, conditions prevailing in Uganda have not allowed him to take such a vacation.

I guess you are by now aware that EU Election Observer Mission to Uganda recently released its final report in which it pointed out that “…the electoral process was marred by avoidable administrative and logistical failures which led to an unacceptable number of Ugandan citizens being disenfranchised. Furthermore, the power of incumbency was exercised to such an extent as to compromise severely the level playing field between the competing candidates and political parties…”

Such a scenario quantitatively and qualitatively affected the outcome of the election, but I will therefore not dwell on it. I however must say that this affected the party in several ways.

First of all, the presumed decline in support from 37% in 2006 to 26% in 2011 has many supporters in disarray. Many of them are obviously disenchanted. Only 8,128,098 (58.25%) out of 13,954,129 registered voters cast their votes. Many of the party’s supporters did not bring the vote out.

FDC gained lots of ground in the local council elections, but it has to do more in order to build on the momentum gained there. While he was brutalized and is yet to recover from the injuries suffered at the hands of the goons that call themselves security operatives, he has to put in extra time and effort in order to keep the party going.

Besides, in the absence of an alternative force to mount pressure on the government to become more sensitive to the plight of its people it becomes incumbent upon certain people to arrogate themselves the task of championing certain causes.

There is also need to galvanize all forces working for regime change. Leadership has to be provided. Dr. Besigye has arrogated himself the task of championing pro-people causes and providing leadership to all forces working for change.

Government has refused to intervene in the economy, especially in checking the spiraling fuel and food prices. It has at the same time come up with this amazing idea of increasing the size of cabinet. Someone has to stand up and speak out against this indifference. The scenario calls for sacrifices. In the circumstances, opting not to take leave would be a necessary sacrifice.

FDC is certainly structured well enough to run without Dr. Besigye. It has 4 Vice Presidents, a National Chairman, a Secretary General and lots of technocrats. Indeed unless there is something pressing, Dr. Besigye prefers “a hands off, eyes on” approach. This ensures that those he assigns duties perform them without feeling any interference whatsoever.

Chairing the Wednesday meetings was inevitable. The NEC at its 34th meeting assigned the Party President the responsibility of “naming, in consultation with the NEC, the leader of the Opposition in Parliament and the Opposition Chief Whip”. NEC never allowed the Party President to delegate that responsibility or duty which had to be performed urgently in order not to paralyze business in parliament.

I hope that this answers you.

ISAAC MICHAEL MUFUMBA

INFORMATION OFFICER,

FORUM FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (FDC)

M7 should Never Have Stood in 2011 Elections.He Again Insulted Ugandans


When Democracy Insults

By

Rehema Kampala

Dear Ugandans at heart,

If there was any hope of free, fair, and credible elections in Uganda this year, that hope was dashed the moment President Yoweri Museveni decided to run for president. I shall return to this.

After the 2006 electoral heist, it looked like we couldn’t sink any lower in electoral malfeasance. We thought we had seen it all and nobody could take 31 million people for a ride ever again in the name of democracy. It looked increasingly likely that election 2011 would bring the political change the country so desperately needed. The opposition under Interparty Cooperation had the support of almost all Ugandans before Museveni spoilt everything.

Based on this assumption, Ugandans were willing to make the necessary sacrifice.And so we approached the 2011 elections with a lot of hope and plenty of promises from the president and the electoral commission. The elections have come and gone. Unfortunately, they were neither free and fair nor credible. Electoral malpractices were widespread. The fraud was manifest in the inflation of votes, multiple thumb printing (evidence abound on Youtube), buying of voter’s card, inducement and buying of voters on election day, the seizure of polling stations and sharing of ballot papers, underage voting, violence, and intimidation of voters. The list is endless.

The point is that the election fell below expectation. Some would argue that it was a marked improvement from 2006. That may be the case. But that argument is meaningless if one considers the unprecedented post-election violence that has been meted out to the likes of Besigye and Mao, and the fact that other parties rejected the results.

It seems our greatest undoing as a nation is our predilection for mediocrity and perversion of transformational values. Old men in Uganda are nolonger afraid of telling lies in public. Kivenjinja Kirunda, the minister of internal affairs, has been the greates liar of all, followed by president Museveni himself.

The ‘’Independent’’ Electoral Commission (EC) may not have been in a position to deal with a lot of the anomalies witnessed during the election, but that is not to say the commission is completely blameless. Clearly, EC was not prepared for the election and it showed a lack of authority and determination at every turn.

For example, in some regions, there were marked differences in the provisional and final figures after the voter registration exercise which EC could not explain. The number of invalid votes during the elections shows that EC did not take seriously the issue of voter education. In a country with one of the highest level of illiteracy, why did EC make the sample ballot paper a mystery?

When president Museveni said that EC was the only body with the authority to fix the order of election, after Besigye had announced that he would announce his own results, we all knew that elections were not going to be free and fair. Some of the lame excuses the EC offered included the statement that ballot papers had been printed, as if that had any bearing on the date the election would take place. So much for commitment to free and fair election! With over 20 million US dollars and a lot of goodwill from Ugandans, EC ought to have done better but they didnt. Dr.Kiggundu, chairman of EC, is a known NRM cadre and he is likely to remain chairman for as long as Museveni is still president of Uganda.

But if we focus on EC we miss the point. President Museveni’s entry into the presidential race changed the dynamics of the election. Was he going to run to lose, in a country where money is everything and incumbency rules, no matter the level of incompetence?

Regrettably, most in NRM have refused to see that Uganda is bigger than President Museveni or his ambitions. Of course, there was the moral burden he faced in his party. But beyond that was the inability to appreciate that one of the greatest problems confronting us as a nation is bad leadership. Museveni is simply the most selfish leader Uganda has had since independence.

Since independence, we have had the misfortune of being saddled with morally bankrupt, inept and visionless leaders. And this has persisted because we haven’t been able to conduct credible elections. It is either competent people are rigged out or they do not trust the system enough to run for office. President Museveni had the golden opportunity to change that in 1996 but he has proved to be worse than past presidents. He has killed more people than both Obote and Amin Combined but the western media started to talk about it just this year during the ‘WALK TO WORK’ protests when Arinaitwe Gilbert treated Besigye like a sack of potatoes in a pick up.

Once he decided to run, President Museveni had to do all he needed to do to win, whether it meant running what perhaps was the most expensive presidential campaign in history, in total disregard of the country’s electoral laws, bending the rules to favour him or coercing governors to get their support.We need a courageous leader; one who is willing to make sacrifices on our behalf. President Museveni failed Uganda in this regard.

As always, there are those who would want us to be amnesiac. We need to move Uganda forward is their ever ready answer to our political and social problems. But the next five years will not be dedicated to governance in any form. From May 12, 2011, the race will begin in the ruling party on who will succeed President Museveni in 2016, that is if he keeps his promise to serve his final term. In the months ahead there will be political jobbers who will resurrect the debate of 7-year tenure for the president.

I’m also surprised with the media that keeps giving space to the children of big people in NRM to either cement the dictatorship ideas in the country or continue to confuse Ugandans. For example, the Daily Monitor has been publishing articles from Mbabazi’s daughter and they are slowly turning her into some form of a serious intellectual person yet she is clearly confusing Ugandans. Before we know it, Muhoozi will also start appearing more in the Newvision on a regular basis as if we have not had enough of this rotten batch.

Protesting the inauguration of Museveni in Boston


Ugandans at home and abroad have begun peaceful demonstrations against the failed regime of Museveni, massive rigging of presidential, parliamentary and local elections, and refusal to address the rising prices of goods and services especially of fuel and food.

When Museveni came to power in 1986, he promised democracy, free and fair elections, law and order, equal development opportunities for all and a society devoid of sectarianism and corruption. The people of Uganda would be sovereign and the government would be its servant.  To avoid abuse, the separation of powers among the executive, legislative and judiciary branches would be strictly enforced. And merit would be the criterion for appointments and promotions. These promises were contained in the ten point program which was developed and adopted by consensus during the guerrilla war and published in 1985.

Once in power Museveni took a different path. Without consulting the public, he dropped the popular ten point program and replaced it with structural adjustment program in 1987. He dismissed or marginalized Ugandans including the minister of finance who opposed the severe (shock therapy) version of adjustment and threatened those who opposed the new program, marking the beginning of dictatorial rule that has intensified over the last twenty five years.

The implementation of structural adjustment was based on the operation of market forces and laissez faire capitalism, trickle down mechanism and a significantly reduced role of the state in the economy and balanced budget. Free trade, comparative advantage, privatization of public enterprises, retrenchment of public servants and elimination of subsidies in social sectors of education, health and housing as well as in agriculture were implemented. It had been hoped that through a trickle down mechanism, the benefits of rapid economic growth would benefit social sectors and the private sector would create employment for retrenched public servants and new workers.

However, in practice things have worked differently. Democracy through free and fair elections has been denied. All the elections since 1996 have been rigged in favor of Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM) party. The 2011 elections are particularly troubling because over five million Ugandans were disenfranchised and an equal number of foreigners were bused into the country from neighboring countries and voted for Museveni and his party. As foreigners are not allowed to vote the election results are illegitimate. The Commonwealth Observer Team reported that the entire electoral process lacked a level playing field, implying that the results are null and void. The presidential opponents of Museveni have refused to concede defeat and the opposition has rejected the results. It is calling for the formation of a transitional coalition government to organize free and fair elections.

Uganda’s economy and governance have been characterized by skewed distribution of income in favor of a few families and blatant corruption and sectarianism. As a result over fifty percent of the population live in absolute poverty, over 80 percent of youth are unemployed, some ten million Ugandans go to bed hungry every night, forty percent of children under five are undernourished, over 80 percent of primary school children drop out of school every year in large part for luck of school lunch which the government has refused to support although endorsed by NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development). School lunches improve attendance and performance especially of girls.
The failed economy has resulted in the emergence and spreading of diseases of poverty which include jiggers, scabies, trachoma, tuberculosis, malnutrition and malaria. Reduced public investment has severely undermined institutions, infrastructure and social systems which are on the brink of collapse. The extensive clearance of vegetation to increase agricultural production for export and domestic markets has severely damaged the environment which is now characterized by rising temperatures and reduced rainfall. Consequently, Uganda is experiencing frequent and longer droughts and floods with adverse impact on agricultural production and food availability.

These adverse outcomes have created challenges for the government which has responded with brute force and a president that has become dictatorial and insensitive to the needs of the public. Instead of allocating more resources to the development sectors to reduce suffering, Museveni has decided to invest more in security forces to crack down dissent.

A combination of external and domestic factors has resulted in rapid increase of prices especially on fuel/kerosene and food. Whereas other countries like Kenya have responded by intervening to reduce prices including by reducing taxes, the government of Uganda has totally refused to intervene arguing that the causes are externally induced for fuel and “Acts of God” for food. External factors and Acts of God have been aggravated by domestic policies – high taxes, liberal export of food and pumping too much money in the economy during the election campaigns. Consequently, there is a high tax on fuel and kerosene. The government could have eased the price by reducing tax or increasing the supply of fuel from national reserves or using foreign currency reserves to import more fuel but the government has refused.
The food shortage has been caused in part by low rainfall which is partly the result of environmental degradation starting especially in 1974 when Amin authorized extensive de-vegetation to increase crop cultivation and herding, a policy that has continued and intensified under Museveni’s government to diversify agricultural production for export.  The encouragement of food exports to neighboring countries and beyond has further reduced domestic supplies driving prices up beyond the means of many households.

Peaceful demonstrations that began in March and intensified since April are designed to convince the government to agree to a transitional coalition government to arrange free and fair elections and to intervene in the economy and address the rising prices especially of fuel and food. The government has responded with disproportionate force against peaceful demonstrators notwithstanding that Ugandans have the right to march, assemble and express opinion peacefully.

The brutal use of force has been condemned by the international community including western governments, non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International and the media. We appeal to the Secretary General of the United Nations to use his good offices and help end the brutal violation of human rights in Uganda, a member state of the United Nations that served on the Security Council two years ago and is now a member of the Human Rights Council.

Professor Eric Kashambuzi

NewYork

Put Legal ‘fatwa’ on Gilbert Arinaitwe for Hammering Dr Besigye’s car


The NRM regime has committed and continues to commit serious crimes against ugandans. But the opposition should not dilute such atrocities by crying foul about everything. I have told the opposition MPs and activists to be wary of being served food when they attend public functions. No self service no eating. Those who are stupid enough or greedy to sit there and demand serviice will pay the ultimate price.

Gilbert Hammering Besigye's car

It is true that Ugandans are poor and are compromising their rights by accepting police bribes. What the police is doing is bribing family and that is a a matter that needs to be politicized. When is a bribe criminalized? I read the same nonsense in Gulu where Minister Wabudeya-mourners should pounce on some of those people although not Minister wabudeya in particular. I want to read in the Ugandan story of YKM’s envoys sent with mabugo pounced on at funeral and beaten kabisa. Chase them from the funerals and tell them to take their crocodile tears elsewhere.

Put aside obuntu bulamu/good manners and send a message. Pounce on those emissaries and whip them really good. When i was a young boy I recall ceremonies involving twins-okwalula abalongo- in Uganda where it was literally war. Urine was poured on the side and it was perfectly fine. These IGP emissaries need to be washed with urine at funerals. I am not kidding. The message has to be sent loud and clear. This nonsense of killing innocent Ugandans and the offering funeral expenses or help with treatment should be banished.

I am still hoping perhaps against hope that opposition leaning lawyers in Uganda will file charges against the state. It is time to file civil suits against the AG, IGP and government of Uganda. They may add The funders of law and justice namely Netherlands and Ireland among others. Their money is facilitating the police to kill innocent Ugandans. Do the people in Holland and Ireland know that their tax money is helping the Ugandan police kill innocent children. Do they know that their tax dollars are helping the judiciary to violate the rule of law in Uganda? To those of you in Holland and Ireland what are you doing to let the people there know about this?

The media did a great job of taking those pictures. Ugandans should save them. I am sure Ugandans on the ground can identify these goons. Save the pictures for future purposes to identify them, deal with the goons and piss on them. I was there after 1979 when Amin’s men took it really hard.

One of these days the opposition mobs will also pounce on an NRM biggie, be it that Lt Gilbert Arinaitwe-the younger man who is apparently caught roughing up Dr Besigye-or a member of the judiciary. If not now, soon, certainly in the future. That Gilbert Arinaitwe should be the number one, I repeat number one target for opposition mobs. It is likely he will go underground after today’s pictures but he must pay for his brutality. And so are all those security men seen beating up people. It is now tit for tat and anyone who calls him or herself NRM or works to perpetuate the violations of rights is fair game. True the weakest link may suffer but so be it.

The lawyers should also sue that idiot Gilbert Arinaitwe and force him to make deposition. That is one of the ways to put him in public view and expose him. it is sickening and we never anything like that under Amin. For real. Never!

Those goons went to school in Uganda and live among Ugandans who should be able to identify them and where they live. The good news is that YKM sold all public houses so there are not many government houses to allocate to the killers and goons. They must live in private/rented homes. My only concern is that “obuwutaavu” seems to have set in and Ugandans forgot how to respond. The pictures reveal a lot.

But I am also concerned about the opposition tactics. Why have we not seen the lawyers go to Court to file case after case about police brutal and lose of lives? What happened to civil cases in Uganda? The lawyers should pay as much attention to the peasants who lost their loved as they do to the famous opposition members.Civil suits can tie down the state and certainly embarrass them. Let us see some action on the civil suit front.

Well in 1990, Mr Moi treated Mr Kenneth Matiba-they poisoned him at Kamitii-and Mr Charles Rubia when they led saba saba against one party rule. But in the end Mr Moi relented. It is certainly possible to do to Dr Besigye to what Mr Moi did to Mr Matiba. The way the goons arrest him scares me because in that kavuyo they can inject him with poison.

BTW in Kenya the mobs nabbed one magistrate who had gone to a night club and finished him off. They had identified him as one of those who ruled to please Mr Moi. He never made it out and the mobs got away.

And to Uganda IGP Kayihura, this may help you to think twice before giving out orders: the former Kenya Police Commissioner, Mr Kilonzo, who was in office when Mr Ouko was killed was poisoned in Masaku. Fair or not is neither here nor there. Things catch up. Aparently it was the same state he served that did it to him because he knew too much. Oh, all the key players in trying to cover up for the death of Mr Ouko died mysterious deaths. The Internal security PS at the time Mr Hezekiah Oyugi-a luo-who was one of the most powerful men at the time gone through obutwa. Today his family live like beggars yet they had it all. Sooner rather latter NRM will start to eat its own Moi style. You watch. Dunia.
WB Kyijomanyi
DP ELDER IN USA

The Nabweru Magistrate,Justine Atukwasa, Should be Ashamed of Himself


r Kizza Besigye at Nabweru Court before he was charged with unlawful assembly. Photo by Isaac Kasamani from Daily Monitor

Folks:

Someone should whisper to those semi-gods in Central Millitary Intelligence(CMI) that ebibimba biika/what goes up comes down. They should also study the experience of Kenya’s special branch. Anyone who lived in Kenya in the 1980s -they probably still do it-knew that whenever you saw two men in dirty coats walking together, they were in all likelihood policemen. Special branch used to do what CMI is doing today. When change came, many fled into exile while others got pissed on.

Now to hear that CMI is concocting up treason charges gainst Besigye and other opposition leaders is not funny nor is it surprising. But the other day, Ambassador Jimmy Kinobe said that the Ugandan judiciary is up to the task. Well as they say “enkuba eryokanga neetonya …emyoyo/thank the rains so we could see which hurts are resilient. This is the moment of truth for the CJ Odoki bench. The truth is in the pudding. It may be a matter of when not if anymore to test the judiciary once again.

Do not forger there are now NRM cadre judges -they too will be pissed on one day-so your guess as to which judges will be named to handle Dr Besigye’s case is a as good as mine. Do not also forger that the new Principal Judge is Mr. Bamwine-I hope I am not unfair to him-and not Justice James Ogoola Munaange. All eyes will be on Justice Yorokamu Bamwine as he names the judges to handle the pending charges. And of course Mr. Richard Butera. Who is this Richard Butera the DPP? We need to know more about them as they prepare to send innocent men to jail because president Museveni said so.

And to that Nabweru Magistrate one Atukwasa, you better have your passport ready-because one day you will never know what will hit you. You are a disgrace to the judiciary and you should be blackmailed. Judges and magistrates are taking orders from Yoweri Kaguta Museveni(YKM) or ruling according to what YKM does. That is what some magistrates and even Judges did in Kenya whenever Mr. Moi talked about cases before the courts-told you YKM and Mr. Moi have a lot in common-and judges would abide.

One of the most famous or notorious of such rulings was when Mr. Moi commented on the case before the courts between Ms Wambui-Otieno and the Umira Kager clan. Mrs Wambui Otieno had won the first round before a courageous judge for the right to bury her husband. Then Mr. Moi made comments about African cultures and women and the Appeal bench ruled in favour of the clan as per Mr. Moi’s wishes.

To add insult to injury, Mr. Moi shortly named the lawyer for the clan, Mr. Richard Otieno Kwach directly a Court of Appeal Judge-YKM too names some people without judiciary experience to Court of Appeal and even Supreme Court. And yes, shortly after he detained Mr. John Khaminwa the lawyer who had represented Mrs. Wambui Otieno. Well, Justice Richard Otieno Kwach was one of those judges purged from the judiciary once Mr. Moi was out of office. I bring up these examples for the folks in Uganda to be aware that actions have consequences. Bulikya.

We need a profile of Mr. Richard Butera the DPP who is harassing Dr Besigye and others. Yes and his place of birth too.

Pregnant woman shot at Kajjansi this week

Yes she survived and was admitted at Mulago hospital. She was pregnant but i’m not sure if the baby survived. Then there is the story of one Kato shot in the head at Kirra by someone in plain cloth that then drove off.

The names of this Kajjansi lady were reported in new Vision and her pictures were also there. Let afande Nabakoba or Mr Sekatte look at her and try their damn lies. Was that innocent woman trying to overthrow their regime? That IGP is a real sadist.

Now, I urge our Kampala mayor, Ssalongo Lukwago, and others to come to her help and sue the AT, IGP and the government of Uganda. Ambassador Kinobe said the judiciary is good so let us see what they will do to this case. The opposition should have team of lawyers to fight for her righst in the courts. It was reported that 3 people were shot in Gulu. The families should sue. The opposition should fight on all cylinders.

The govt should pay this lady and other hurt millions. So all of you lawyers in UAH please help and file charges against the relevant police organs. Go for the deep pocketed ones. Do not let Kayihura just order the police to shoot and kill innocent Ugandans. Hit them where it hurts most. If they fail top pay, seize those cars they are using to beat Ugandans.

Please do not sleep on this woman’s rights. She may not know her rights, but she has rights and let us see what the Judiciary is made of. One of the problems I have is that Ugandans have slept on their rights for too long.

By now, we should have been told the names of those thugs who were captured on camera beating Dr Besigye. One way to shame the police is to reveal their identities so the folks in Ugandan should work on that. Who was that munyakore fellow who kept on ordering Dr Besigye to climb the truck? He was in plain cloth. Expose them fully. UAH and other social networks such as facebook, should be free to publish their names for the world to know the sadists. It is time to change tactics to name and shame the goon.

In that video i believe one or two were Dr Besigye’s aides who resisted the police and managed to board the car. The police could not push them off because the cameras were rolling.

But let us hear of cases filed in the court for compensations and more. Do not go to the Human rights Commission but the judiciary. Let us expose all complicit organs of the state. So you the lawyers in Uganda act right away.

I am sure the state may try to reach out to that woman behind doors and offer her kitu kidogo. No, let the courts decide the amount.

What are the demonstrations about?

That is how the government lost the debate. Just imagine if it had argued that rising prices are a global phenomenon. YKM said some sensible things at his press conference in Rwakitura recently. In the short run, there is not much the government can credibly do. Core inflation which excludes food and energy prices is something the govt or Bank of Uganda(BOU) can do something about. I wish the opposition had zeroed in on excessive money supply induced inflation. Then BOU can act. That is something the bank can do even now.

How the govt lost the debate is mind boggling. It was wrong to accuse the organizers of ”walk to work” of treason as YKM did in his press conference. And if I may ask what is happening to real Ugandans, ok ordinary Ugandans, who normally walk to work? For them it is the norm rather than the exception.

YKM was poorly advised. Minister Matsiko was outright arrogant and stupid in her response. He should have put his economic team to task to explain core inflation because food and energy prices are not entirely a local or mad made inflation. Nature may have contributed to food shortages as Ugandans spent 2 full years politicking. There is no evidence as YKM tried to argue that rains failed. What failed was the politicians who wasted people’s valuable time on politics. That is the opportunity cost of too much politicking.

Let BOU release the money supply numbers for the last 6 months or so. That is where the real problem lies. Surely it cannot be wage inflation given the high unemployment in that country where workers have no voice.

It is the political decision to print money to win at all cost that has pushed the country to the edge. Even the poor farmers have no voice since the coops -their collective voice-was destroyed.

I take the position that YKM ordered the IGP to use such excessive force because he ordered BOU to print money-money during presidential elections that was found in minister Mukwaya’s car. The issue is about core inflation. How I wish our friends in the opposition had been forceful in their articulation. Neither side mastered the facts which is a shame

Let our friends in the media ask more questions about core inflation. The Governor of BOU should account because BOU is the guilty party.

WB Kyijomanyi
DP ELDER IN USA

Uganda Red Cross attends to 167 injuries in Walk to Walk demonstrations


UPDF soldiers have been deployed all over Kampala

April 19, 2011
News Editors,

Uganda Red Cross attends to 167 injuries in Walk to Walk demonstrations

The Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) attended to 165 people that were injured during the country wide Walk to Walk and Makerere University demonstrations. 98 people sustained injuries as a result of the Walk-Walk demonstrations while 67 students were injured in the Makerere University riots.

URCS Secretary General Michael Richard Nataka said of the 167 injured, 4 had head injuries with wounds, 17 sustained gun shot wounds, 80 fainted and sustained minor injuries, 35 became unconscious as a result of tear gas, 6 sustained leg cuts and fractures, 12 were unconscious after sustaining serious injuries. 8 cases were of headaches, 4 died after sustaining stray bullet wounds while 1 person broke a clavicle borne. Three deaths were reported in Gulu on April 14th, while one death was reported in Kasangati, Wakiso district on April 18th, 2011.

The Walk-Walk demos took place on April 11th, 14th and 18th while the Makerere University riots were on April 15th.

Nataka hailed all the parties involved in the operation for respecting Uganda Red Cross Society and giving it access to save lives of those that were injured. “Our focus was to save lives by evacuating and providing first aid services to whoever needed our help. URCS staff and volunteers dedicated their efforts to saving lives while at the same time respecting the dignity of those assisted,” he said.

The injured were referred to Mulago Hospital, Nsambya Hospital, Kawala Hospital, Gulu Hospital, Mukono health centre, Gwattiro Nursing Home Bweyogere. Most of the injured have since been discharged.

For details contact:
Catherine Ntabadde-Assistant Director, Communications 0776-312015
Michael Richard Nataka-Secretary General 0776-312001

UK Government urged to support Ugandan pro-democracy campaign – EXCLUSIVE REPORT FROM LONDON


Woman shot by security officials at Kajjansi trading centre during the 'walk to work' demos

UK Government urged to support Ugandan pro-democracy campaign: A report on the recent meeting between UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials and UK – based Ugandan activists. (Report written by Dr. Vincent Magombe and Opiyo Oryema, on behalf of the Uganda Pro-Democracy Forum, International.)

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office met again with a group of Ugandan pro-democracy campaigners in London. The meeting, which took place on 24 March 2011, was attended by Mr Lewis Clark, the Desk Officer for Uganda and Tanzania at the FCO, and Miss Elizabeth McKinnell, while the Ugandans included Dr. Vincent Magombe, Ms. Belinda Atim, Mr. Moses Kiwanuka, Ms. Margaret Lakidi, Mr. Opio Oryema, Mr. David Serukera and Mr. William Masembe-Nkata.

The Ugandan activists urged the UK government to support the newly launched pro-democracy campaign in Uganda. The NRM regime under Mr. Yoweri Museveni, they explained, had eroded any traces of competitive politics and, since 1986, ruled Uganda without due regard to internationally accepted standards of democratic practice. Mr Museveni had presided over the stifling and strangulation of Uganda’s opposition parties, and effectively denied Ugandan citizens the right to chose political leaders of their choice. He had changed the constitution to effectively create a life-presidency for himself. Even now, Museveni’s NRM party is already plotting another constitutional change that would extend Mr Museveni’s terms of office to seven years.

The Ugandan campaigners outlined the reasons why the majority of Ugandans, including all the main opposition parties, had rejected the results of the February 2011 elections. A non-violent struggle, had now been launched by the Ugandan activists, both at home and in the Diaspora, and this would involve peaceful protests and other forms of civil disobedience. The ultimate objective of the peaceful campaign is to enable the creation of a new democratic dispensation, whereby elections are always free and fair, delivered by an electoral commission that is truly independent and unbiased. In the new dispensation, all Ugandan citizens would be guaranteed their constitutional rights and freedoms, including the freedom of assembly, and that of the media and expression.

In the short term, the aim of the campaign is to make Mr Museveni to stand down, so that a transition government that is representatives of all sections of Ugandan society can be set up, with the central task of facilitating the democratisation process that would lead to the holding of free and fair elections.

At the heart of the peoples’ rejection, of what has been dubbed the ‘sham’ February 2011 elections, is the realisation that Mr Museveni and his NRM party variously rigged the vote. The regime had refused to institute an independent and professionally competent electoral commission, and the majority of Ugandans had been disenfranchised and politically alienated from the political processes.

This fact was confirmed by the thousands of registered voters who could not find their names at the polling stations, and the millions of registered voters, who did not bother to vote, as they believed the elections were already rigged before election-day. In the run-up to the elections, thousands of troops and paramilitary forces were deployed in the towns and villages of Uganda, and this provided a visible source of intimidation to opposition supporters, who, accordingly, chose to stay away from the militarised voting centres. The Museveni regime also launched a psychological and propaganda war, whose aim was to scare Ugandans about a supposed threat of war and instability, in the event that the opposition won the elections.

The lack of a level playing ground and the diversion of public finances to fund the election campaigns of Mr. Museveni and his NRM party are some of the other glaring examples of how the elections were rigged. Opposition leaders were denied equal access to the public media networks, and also to the same pool of financial and state resources from which the NRM party was drawing its own facilitation. The diversion of funds was confirmed through the pronouncements of senior government and NRM functionaries, during and after the elections. One government minister stated that the country had gone broke as a result of excessive spending during the election period.

The Ugandan pro-democracy campaigners were of the view that the diverted money could be part of the British government aid to Uganda. The British government should, accordingly, demand for accountability in regard to the money provided to Uganda by British tax payers. It was suggested that UK developmental support to Uganda be much more closely monitored to ensure that it is the people of Uganda, and not the ruling political elite, who are the actual beneficiaries.

Increasingly, Ugandans were getting more and more worried about the run-away corruption and misuse of public funds under the Museveni regime. There was a general unease about how Uganda’s future oil industry would be managed, given the lack of transparency and the widespread corruption among the country’s ruling elite. The pro-democracy activists at the FCO meeting had earlier on taken part in the handing over of a petition to the UK prime minister’s office at No. 10 Downing Street.. The Petition, which calls for transparency in the oil management and exploitation processes in Uganda, was signed by hundreds of Ugandan civil society and local community representatives, who fear that, just like the country’s aid money, Uganda’s future earnings from oil could be misappropriated or diverted away from the provision of essential public services.

The UK based activists proposed that the UK government should consider consulting and engaging more with non-governmental Ugandan stakeholders – civil society organisations, development NGOs, and even Ugandan Diaspora representatives, so that the latter can be more involved in the monitoring of how UK development aid is channelled and disbursed within Uganda. The British government was urged to deploy various targeted sanctions, including cutting off aid that is given directly to the Museveni regime, in protest against the increasing violations of human rights by the regime and the lack of political will to tackle entrenched corruption.

In recent months, the state security organisations, including the notorious Joint Anti-terrorism Taskforce (JATT) have arrested hundreds of pro democracy activists throughout the country. An ominous tactic is being used by the Museveni regime to silence and cow the nascent pro-democracy struggle. Some activists have been charged with treason, a crime punishable by death in Uganda. Many of them are being accused of belonging to fictitious rebel groups. A good example being Ms Annet Namwanga, a political activist who was kidnapped from her home by JATT operatives, held incommunicado for a period of time, and later accused of attempting to throw explosives at a military facility.

In order to create an impression of truthfulness about the accusations labelled at innocent Ugandans, like Annet Namwanga, the Museveni regime engages in a well orchestrated campaign of disinformation and misinformation, describing how several ‘terrorist and rebel’ groups have been set up across the country by elements sympathetic to the opposition parties. This strategy enables the regime to politically neutralise and eliminate critical political opposition activists and pro-democracy campaigners. The Kampala regime is well known for stage-managing security crises, with the view to scaring and cowing the electorate. These stage-managed antics are also meant to attract international support.

The UK government should demand for the unconditional release of all these victims of political repression. The Ugandan campaigners advised that British ministers should raise these matters directly with the Museveni regime. There should be an enquiry, possibly involving the UN and an independent special commission, into the use of violence and torture by the Kampala regime. [Since the FCO meeting, reports of torture and physical abuse of the detainees have emerged from Kampala. A damning Human Rights Watch report has been released, detailing the continued brutalisation and torture of innocent Ugandans by the state security agencies. The regime has also violently clamped down on peaceful campaigners, who were participating in the ‘Walk to Work’ protest. Hundreds of peaceful protesters have been arrested, tear-gassed, and shot at with live and plastic bullets. One of the victims of the shooting is Dr. Kizza Besigye, the leader of the Forum for Democratic Change party. Other opposition leaders, like Ambassador Olara Otunnu, Norbert Mao, Ken Lukyamuzi, and Erias Lukwago, the newly elected Mayor of Kampala city were also detained on several occasions during the clampdown. The Peaceful protests are set to continue.]

According to the Ugandan activists, what happened in Uganda was not election, but a selection process that could only end in the re-election of Mr. Museveni. The result of this political charade and electoral fracas was an illegitimate regime that was born out of a violated and abused constitutional order.

The Museveni regime had used all available state security agencies and pro-NRM paramilitary outfits to brutalise and intimidate voters and opposition activists across the country. A good example of the brutalisation of the nation’s citizens was in Mbale, Eastern Uganda, where the army and security operatives were ordered to shoot at and beat up voters and opposition activists. A vocal senior opposition leader from the area has accused the army of attempting to assassinate him, when the bullet meant for him instead hit a prominent journalist. Several government ministers were directly involved in the state-sponsored rampage in the area.

The brutality of the state security machinery had also been evident in the mayoral and local elections in Kampala and other parts of Uganda. The extensive rigging and widespread electoral malpractices led to the cancellation or postponement of voting in many areas. Hundreds of opposition activists were beaten, and others were detained just because they were prepared to prevent vote rigging by protecting their ballots.

The UK government was being specifically called upon, by the Ugandan campaigners, to support the new non-violent campaign, by urging the Museveni regime to stop intimidating peaceful demonstrators and using the army and security forces to forcefully deny Ugandans their constitutional right to peacefully protests against the regime.

The UK government should pro-actively support and assist the establishment of democracy-based constitutionality, and good governance practices in general, in Uganda. The Ugandan campaigners emphasised the need for the British and other Western countries to respect the interests and aspirations of the citizens of African countries, and not to blindly support autocratic regimes, like that of Mr. Museveni, on the basis of their own strategic interests. The Museveni regime is known to be a staunch ally of the West in the war against international terrorism.

But, most of all, Western governments should abstain from frustrating the pro-democracy struggles of African people by empowering and sustaining in power the repressive regimes against whom the citizens are struggling. The FCO officials were reminded of the statement by Ambassador Olara Otunnu, one of the Ugandan opposition leaders, who, during a visit to London, used the popular adage – “If you can’t do good, do no harm,” meaning that if the international community were not in position to practically assist Ugandan people in their struggle for democracy, then the best they could do is not to sabotage or obstruct the people’s effort.

The Ugandan activists warned of possible violence, if the Museveni regime continued to block all peaceful avenues of protest against the injustices suffered by Ugandans over the last 2 decades. While most Ugandans were seeking to peacefully express their frustration about the lack of democracy, entrenched corruption, widespread poverty and the brutal actions of the NRM regime, there was a growing feeling among some Ugandans that Mr Museveni cannot be removed peacefully, and only an armed rebellion could topple his 24-year old dictatorial rule.

The pro-democracy campaigners remained optimistic that if intense national and international pressure were to be applied on the Museveni regime, it was still possible to peacefully transform Uganda into a fully fledged democratic nation. This is the reason why Ugandans were appealing to the British government to act now, in support of the evolving peaceful struggle against the regime in Kampala. It was imperative that the root causes of Uganda’s problems, including the all-encompassing lack of democracy and bad governance, be addressed as a matter of urgency, in order to rescue the Ugandan nation from the abyss.

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office reaction to the general concerns raised by Ugandan pro-democracy activists:

The FCO officials said that they were appreciative of the regular exchanges they were having with the Ugandan pro-democracy campaigners, and were hopeful that a lot of good would come out of the mutual exchanges. They welcomed the efforts of Diaspora Ugandans to broaden their contacts and work with the opposition parties and civil society organisations within Uganda.

The British government was aware of many of the concerns raised by the visiting Ugandan activists, and that is why the UK continues to support the Ugandan people in their efforts to democratise the country. The United Kingdom is committed to enabling the observance of transparency and plural government, where power changes hands peacefully through multi-party elections. To this end, the British Government will continue to fund the ‘Deepening Democracy Programme’, as well as other programmes that are vital to the development of a democratic Uganda. In particular, the UK will urge the Ugandan Government to reflect upon the recommendations for improving the democratic process that will be noted in the forthcoming Observation reports on the elections, which will be published soon by the EU and other International Organisations.

The UK supports non confrontational campaigns for change. Earlier this week the British High Commission in Kampala, in response to the arrests of Dr Besigye and Mr Mao, urged the Uganda Police Force to respond proportionally to public order situations. Furthermore, they have made public statements in support of the right of citizens to protest peacefully, noting that ‘the peaceful exercise of the freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are two fundamental pillars of any democratic society’.

The FCO officials observed that while democratic freedoms are taken for granted in the UK, this was not the case in Uganda.

FCO comments about the specific matter of the defective February 2011 elections in Uganda.

The European Union had a team of observers, deployed in many parts of Uganda, which included a number of British representatives. The EU findings made it clear that the election results raised several issues of great concern that were avoidable, and must be addressed by the Ugandan authorities.

The two FCO officials, who met with the Ugandan pro-democracy activists in London, were themselves part of the EU observer team, and they were posted to Mbarara, Ibanda, Rushere, and Padibe in Kitgum.

Even though they did not witness violent incidents in their own area of observation, they, like the rest of the EU observers, became aware of incidents of violence and electoral malpractices that went on in some parts of Uganda.

Some of the malpractices were due to incompetence and lack of training on behalf of the Electoral Commission staff. But there were other misdemeanours that were of a more systemic nature. In the opinion of the FCO officials, it is possible that electoral rigging seems to have occurred long before the elections, through the bribery of voters, and the lack of a level playing field, which effectively disadvantaged the political opposition. There will be more detailed observations on possible malpractices in the forthcoming report from the EU Observation Mission.

According to the FCO officials, one of the notable problems was the entrenched bond between the state and NRM political party. Representatives of the state and the party cadres were functionally intertwined, and state resources were being utilised to the benefit of the ruling party.

It had also been observed, by an EU study, that there was also the widespread bias in media coverage, with the state-owned media tending to support the ruling NRM party. The fact that most of the FM radio stations are owned by supporters of the NRM party made matters more difficult for the opposition.

Finally, the FCO officials were in agreement with the point raised by the Ugandan pro-democracy activists that it was possible that some Ugandan voters could have been intimidated by the widespread deployment of security forces in many parts of the country.

But the British government functionaries also advised that the opposition parties, too, had a responsibility to improve their organisation and their campaigning if Uganda is to make progress towards being a fully fledged, competitive multi-party system. This is something the Ugandan opposition needs to reflect on.

FCO remarks on the need for transparency in economic activities (especially in regard to the future of oil production industry) in Uganda.
:
It is the view of the UK government that transparency in the management and exploitation of oil is important for the future of Uganda. If revenues are used correctly, it will bring a big economic boom and accelerate economic development, and the Department for International Development is undertaking work that should help to create a strong and transparent system for the management of oil revenues.

In regard to UK financial aid to Uganda, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Department for International Development are committed to closely monitoring how UK aid to Uganda is being utilised.

The United Kingdom believes that the establishment of proper governance systems in Uganda, the creation of a truly democratic dispensation, and the development of solid guarantees for the peaceful transfer of political power are vital ingredients in the attainment of peace, political stability, and sustainable development in Uganda.

Concrete Outcomes from the FCO Meeting:

• UK government will present its concerns about some of the issues raised by the Ugandan pro-democracy activists to the NRM regime in Kampala, as part of its ongoing dialogue. Some of the issues will be communicated through the British High Commission in Uganda, while others would be handled via different channels
• The UK supports the constitutional right of Ugandan citizens to protest peacefully.
• The United Kingdom to ask the NRM regime in Uganda not to use violence or any other intimidatory tactics against peaceful demonstrators.
• The UK government to enquire into the concerns raised by Ugandan pro-democracy campaigners about the possible diversion of public funds, by the NRM regime, to fund NRM party election campaigns.
• Of great concern would be any diversion of development aid money given to Uganda by the UK government.
• FCO is open to future meetings of this nature. A follow up meeting to be organised in the next few months to review progress.

In the mean time, Ugandan pro-democracy campaigners will provide to the FCO details of incidences of state violence against peaceful protesters and innocent pro-democracy campaigners, as well as a list of people arrested, injured or killed.

Also, if a big Diaspora event is organised in London, a request could be made to have the UK Minister for Africa as a guest speaker.

Dr. Vincent Magombe
(on behalf of the Uganda Pro-Democracy Forum (UPDF) – International)

Charges against Ugandan opposition leaders must be dropped- Amnesty International


AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE

AI Index: PRE 01/201/2011
11 April 2011

Charges against Ugandan opposition leaders must be dropped

The Ugandan authorities must drop all criminal charges against several leading opposition figures temporarily detained today for taking part in protests in the capital Kampala, Amnesty International said today.

The opposition politicians, activists and their supporters were arrested during demonstrations calling for people to walk to work in protest at fuel price rises.
Most of the politicians were later released on bail but still face criminal charges.

“The stifling of this protest and the force used against the protesters is an outrageous affront to freedom of expression, made possible by Uganda’s unjust ban on public rallies,” said Amnesty’s researcher on Uganda, Dr. Godfrey Odongo.

“The Ugandan government must not use criminal charges against people engaged in peaceful protests, and all those still in custody must be released.”

Among those arrested were Kizza Besigye, leader of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party leader Norbert Mao and four newly elected opposition members of parliament affiliated to the FDC party.

After hours of detention, the leaders were released on bail and face a range of charges including ‘inciting violence’ and ‘holding unlawful assemblies’.

Police used teargas to disperse the protesters, whom they said were throwing stones.
Eyewitnesses told Amnesty International that demonstrators started throwing stones after the police moved to disrupt the initially peaceful protest.

Since the conclusion of the February 2011 general elections, the Ugandan police have maintained a blanket ban against all forms of public assemblies and demonstrations, on grounds of ensuring public security.

This ban typically affects public demonstrations and rallies that appear to express dissent against the electoral process and current government policies.

“The disruption of peaceful protests and demonstrations and the ban on public rallies violates the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly provided for under Uganda’s Constitution and international law -including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – to which Uganda is party,” said Godfrey Odongo.

Besigye Arrested as Henry Ford Mirima Hails Journalists


Besigye at the police station this morning-John Nsubuga

Dear Ugandan Pressmen,

The press in Uganda must be congratulated for their showing of maturity, and extraordinary courage, in instantly covering of the, WALK TO WORK, programme which began early this morning.

The whole world watched as events took place instantly in remote corners of Uganda showing how Gen. Kale Kayihura’s Police dealt with the demonstrators.

But, pity to Gen.Kale Kaihura for obeying orders whose objectives he does not believe in. But, duty is duty. However, he stands to be questioned in future.

FDC spokesman Wafula Oguttu was arrested Monday for attempting to lead a walk to work protest. Photo by Joseph Kiggunddu from Daily Monitor


Former Ugandan Presidential Candidate Dr. Kiiza Besigye being lifted to a Police Double Cabin Pick up after being arrested by Police while walking from his home at Kasangati to Kampala (about 15Kms) on Monday.

The electronic journalists must be given extra praise for not fearing to risk their lives, doing exactly what professional journalists should be. You are doing what I began twenty years ago for which I, Henry Ford Miirima, was voted by the Journalists Association, THE MOST COURAGEOUS JOURNALIST IN UGANDA

Now, Ugandans have joined the international community in instantly watching world events from their bedrooms on all news channels.

Hail Ugandan Journalists,

Henry Ford Miirima
Veteran Journalist

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