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Media Forums The Uganda Useless Elite Class Yoweri Museveni is the Biggest Parasite in Uganda

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    50 years of Ugandan independence
    British rule over Uganda came to an end on October 9, 1962. Half a century later, the African nation still has not made the transition to genuine democracy.

    In the early years of the 20th century, Winston Churchill, Britain’s World War Two prime minister, described Uganda as the pearl of Africa. These days it is regarded as one of the more politically stable countries on the continent. In spite of corruption, annual economic growth has clocked in regularly at between five and seven percent and large oil deposits hold out the prospect of even greater riches. Uganda has won international recognition for its large troop contingent participating in the African Union’s peace mission in Somalia. And yet the pearl is not as bright as once was.

    Uganda is engaged in AU peacekeeping in Somalia
    One cannot refer to Uganda as a democracy. Following the brutal regimes of Milton Obote and Idi Amin, power is now in the hands of President Yoweri Museveni where it has rested for the last 26 years. Observers described last year’s election as free, but not fair. Victory at the polls for the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) was only achieved by generous election promises and an expensive campaign, funded from state coffers.

    Milton Obote was prime minister from 1962 to 1966, president from 1966 to 1971 and from 1980 to 1985
    Sarah Tangen heads the Kampala branch of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a German think tank. She views political life in Uganda with some skepticism. “Uganda is not a de facto democracy,” she told DW, “it is a pseudo democracy with authoritarian traits.”

    The military-style police are brutal and they assist and protect the government rather than the people. This is reflected in the poor reputation the police have in the population at large.

    Idi Amin was Uganda’s military dictator and president from 1971 to 1979. He deposed Milton Obote.
    Tangen says corruption is another of the country’s problems. “There are a large number of paramilitary organizations that operate outside the law,” she says.

    Powerful president, divided opposition

    President Yoweri Museveni has run Uganda since he came to power in 1986. When he was taking the oath of office, he said that Africa’s problem was that its leaders stayed in power for too long, thereby encouraging impunity, corruption and cronyism. When journalists remind him about his length of time in office, he replies evasively “It’s a question of fighting.” Museveni said he has been fighting his country’s problems since 1971, in other words since Idi Amin seized power. “We fought for 16 long years, do you expect me to give up half way? Because we are still fighting, not in the bush but in the government. I am not talking about power, I am talking about the struggle.”

    Museveni sees the presidency as a life-long mission. He believes he must adopt tough measures to stop the country from sliding into chaos. The reason why he is still in power is because the opposition is divided, it lacks a coherent political strategy. It has failed to win the support of the masses, even though the country has seen anti-government protests against high food prices, corruption and social inequality.

    At the crossroads for half a century

    Kizza Besigye, formerly Museveni’s personal physician, is the country’s strongest opposition leader. He believes his country has made progress on infrastructure and the economy generally, but not in its political life. Fifty years after independence, Uganda is still at the crossroads, Besigye says. “We still haven’t succeeded in making the transition to a stable, democratic society. In those 50 years, there hasn’t been one single head of state who has handed over power to his successor peacefully,” he added.

    Democratic rights may be written into the constitution, but the reality is rather different. The right of assembly has been drastically curtailed. Permission for demonstrations is often denied on the flimsiest of pretexts, protests are brutally put down by “security forces”.

    Rights groups persistently voice concern over the discrimination of sexual minorities in Uganda
    Agnes Kabajuni works for the rights group Amnesty International in Uganda. “We are very concerned by the many human rights violations that take place here,” she says.

    Beacons of hope

    The government adopts a antagonistic attitude to NGOs like Amnesty International. Activists who campaign for the rights of sexual minorities bear the brunt of such hostility. One of the country’s best known gay rights activists, David Kato, was murdered last year. The culprits haven’t even been found, let alone put on trial or convicted. Kato was instrumental in ensuring that draft legislation which envisaged the death penalty for gays and lesbians was eventually dropped.

    It was also pressure from the international community that forced the regime to abandon this draconian bill. Such pressure is still needed. “We need support, urgently.” said Clare Byarugaba from the NGO Civil Society Coalition, which fights for gay rights in Uganda. “We believe that draft law was scrapped because the government was worried about its image,” the young activist believes.

    The majority of Ugandans are under the age of 20. The only president they have ever known is Museveni and they are calling for their rights with increasing self-confidence. Young parliamentarians are also starting to become more vocal in their criticism of the regime, which is a sign of hope in the former pearl of Africa.


    How MPs plan to remove age limit at Kyankwanzi

    The NRM MPs retreat at the National Leadership Institute Kyankwanzi next month is expected to discuss and endorse a proposal to remove the 75-year-age limit that stands in the way of President Museveni and re-election in 2021.

    Well-placed sources say a plan to remove the age obstacle from the Constitution has been in the works since the collapse of Nakifuma MP Robert Kafeero Ssekitooleko’s attempt to table a private member’s bill in September last year.

    Officially, the bill aimed to raise the retirement age of judges and give electoral commissioners an extended tenure, but unofficially it was believed to be a ruse for the introduction of an amendment to abolish Article 102(b) that makes it unconstitutional for President Museveni to seek re-election in 2021 given that he will have turned 75 years old.

    Yoweri Museveni addressing NRM MPs last year at Kyankwanzi

    The Nakifuma MP’s move collapsed on September 13, 2016 after Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga directed that the motion be shelved until government tables an omnibus bill with all constitutional amendments therein.

    Ssekitooleko is now part of a group of MPs reported to be working with a retired army officer serving in cabinet on a motion expected to be tabled during the 10-day NRM caucus retreat at NALI, Kyankwanzi.

    The MPs involved are said to include John Bosco Lubyaayi (Mawokota South), Simeo Nsubuga (Kassanda North), former FDC treasurer Anita Among (Bukedea Woman), Arinaitwe Rwakajara (Workers), Peter Ogwang (Usuk) and Jacob Oboth-Oboth (West Budama South).

    It is understood that this working committee has met several times at Kati Kati restaurant, Serena Kampala hotel and at the said minister’s office. During some of these meetings, selected NRM MPs and some NRM-leaning independents were invited and mobilised to support the move.

    According to our source, the architects plan to handle the project the way minister of state for Investment Evelyn Anite approached the sole candidacy resolution in February 2014 to shield President Museveni from internal electoral competition.

    Asked to confirm his role in the effort, Nsubuga said he was not party to such a move.

    “Let’s wait for Kyankwanzi but I know nothing… I am just a committed cadre of the party ready for any assignment from the party leadership, but as far as that [proposed motion] is concerned, I don’t know anything,” Nsubuga said.

    Meanwhile, another group of MPs has launched an open campaign against the removal of the presidential age-limit clause from the Constitution. Among them is Kisoro municipality MP Sam Byibesho, who told The Observer on Thursday that any attempts to change the Constitution must involve all Ugandans.

    “We suspect that they are bringing it [for discussion] at Kyankwanzi but we are saying, this is a matter that must be discussed freely and openly,” Byibesho said.

    “I believe that there are some articles in the Constitution which must be changed, and they may use that chance to change even this one on the age limit. It must go to a referendum [instead of using the caucus], all stakeholders must be involved,” Byibesho added.

    NRM MPs at Kyankwanzi

    Interviewed on Wednesday, government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa said no MP has approached her about a motion to amend the age-limit clause.

    “I am in charge of the retreat’s programme and no one has approached me over the things you are talking about,” she said.
    “I can tell you it is a fixed 10-day programme with presentations from people we have invited from outside Uganda. Will it [age-limit removal] be discussed over lunch or at the campfire?” Nankabirwa wondered.

    The chief whip declined to discuss details of the retreat’s programme but said one of the facilitators is from Ethiopia.

    The retreat, which had originally been scheduled for March 12 to 18, was called off after Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga declined to send MPs on recess until the budget process has been completed.

    Sadab Kitatta Kaaya


    Dr. Kiiza Besigye does not tolerate different points of view

    Dear Col. (rtd) Dr Kizza Besigye,

    In your interview with one of the local English papers, you insinuated that in my earlier interview with the same paper, l was trying to speak on behalf of president Mugisha Muntu, yet I am not his spokesperson, and that Muntu is competent to speak for himself.

    I’m writing this letter to you directly to let you know that l gave my views in my personal capacity. I hold no position in FDC but l have views based on experience in leadership on a fairly long period of reading, observing and in some cases practices.

    You stated that in 1999, you approached some of us to leave the Movement and when we failed; you decided to start the work of ‘heavy lifting’ to remove the dictatorship and that you left the Movement for that purpose.

    For how long will this ‘heavy lifting be a personal obligation and mission? The fact is that you did not leave the Movement; you just run for the office of the President under the Movement system. There were some members who moved a motion that Mr President be declared a sole candidate in 2000. Some of those movers are now victims of that thinking, some of us openly opposed this move and argued that you were free to stand. We even advised against the efforts to have you arrested and victimised. Your ‘entasiima’.

    By the way, to refresh your memory, just 10 years earlier in 1989, you led a team to draft a resolution for a constitutional amendment to extend NRM rule and hence the leadership of President Museveni for an extra five years which was passed.

    Then you were the most trusted confidant of the NRM leadership. Only a sole voice, Omulongo Waswa Ziritwawula opposed this move and resigned his seat in Parliament in protest. If you had joined him to fight the nascent ‘dictatorship’, perhaps the course of history of this country would have been different.

    We may recall that when the Constitution was being amended to remove term limits, there were many clear voices in and outside Parliament who opposed it and some paid and are still paying a price. Not everyone succumbed to money offers. This was before FDC was formed. And FDC was not founded by a single individual or group. It was a culmination of efforts by several groups and tendencies, to forge a common home for a common effort and purpose.

    You may recall my long discussion with you in South Africa in 2004. Many others did visit you. Learn to appreciate that there were other strugglers before you then and there are many others now.

    The issues that concern you that I raised in that interview and which l still hold were;
    1. You had turned on your word as recorded live on NTV and many other forms of media.

    2. That you had not supported your successor Gen. Mugisha Muntu

    3. That you had set up parallel structures and centres of power.
    I can now add that you don’t easily tolerate different points of view and you don’t genuinely welcome and accommodate those who hold a different point of view. Case in a point, during the Namboole delegates conference in 2010 that elected you for the second term as president, Hon. Wandera Martin was publically announced that he had been appointed unopposed as secretary for labour.

    Later on at the first NEC meeting at party headquarters, a meeting you chaired, it was raised that actually there were other people who had been nominated but papers not presented. To cut the long story short, Wandera was dropped and replaced by another person. The real reason, he had supported Muntu. Wandera is alive.

    My brother Besigye, you are free to change your mind and you are entitled to run again, but if you do so, say so and why, rather than attacking people who raise that issue as you did in the interview referred to above. You actually state in the same interview that you stood because of the trust voters have in you that is not transferable to another candidate of the same party.

    You also pointed that there was a deficit in that trust in your absence and that there was insufficient resolve by leaders in your absence to fight for reforms. Did you really think through this? If you did and it’s true, then your style and content of leadership raises concern. Please learn to respect and appreciate the contribution of others however small or insufficient from your point of view.

    If it’s personal to you as if new voters have not come on board and some in the old voters register passed on, then this is in itself failed leadership. When you stepped down, I told some leaders at that time that you had stepped down tacticfully in order to come back with a bang as flag bearer. So your coming back was not a surprise to me, what surprised was the spurious reasons you advanced.

    You started a parallel sect dubbed ‘activists’ from the top to the districts level. I will not delve into its activities. My view is that a leader’s role is to reconcile and harmonise different points of view in order to advance a common goal and purpose. Styles of struggle will always be there in any organised society. We should also learn to tolerate different points of view and respond to them without insinuations.

    Finally, let me make it clear to all concerned that whoever gets elected and in spite of the attacks and labels put against me by some of your ardent supporters and campaign handlers, we shall support the party and its leadership at all levels.

    Nuwe Amanya Mushega


    After 31years in power we still have a president who does this..seriously who advises this man???at times am tempted to think these are pictures of Dolibondo the comedian!!This is the worst president Uganda has ever had.


    You can bring cameras, buy more weaponry, recruit more army personnels, but…if people loose trust in your government, you can’t stay,
    Abantu kasita bakuta, oba ogenze, however much you kill, detain people, finally you have to go.
    Mr. Museveni should seriously think of dropping the thing immediately, i know it is painful for him to swallow his pride, how dare him hand over power to wolves? after all he has the army….but he has to go, not later, but sooner.
    The struggle must continue…